button to main menu   West's Guide to the Lakes, 1778/1821

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Page 135:-
in whose bosom it is formed, appears to have been the focus of a volcano, in some distant period of time, when the cones were produced by explosion. At present it is the reservoir of water, that feeds the roaring cataract you see in the descent to Buttermere. Here all is barrenness, solitude, and silence, only interrupted by the murmurs of a rill, that runs unseen in the bottom of a deep dell [1]. The smooth verdant sides of the vast hills on the right have many furrows engraven in their sides by the winter rains; and the sable mountains in front present all the horrors of cloven rock, broken cliff, and mountain streams tumbling headlong. Some traces of industry obtruding
[1] There is one curious spectacle, often seen by the shepherd on the tops of these mountains, which the traveller may never chance to see, but which is so happily delineated in the following stanza, that he may the less regret it. What I mean is the effects of mists, which frequently involve every object round in the bases of these eminences, and which in the district of pointed hills just described, must be experienced in the greatest perfection.
And oft the craggy cliff he lov'd to climb,
When all in mist the world below was lost;
What dreadful pleasure! there to stand sublime,
Like shipwreck'd mariner on desart coast,
And view th'enormous waste of vapour, tost
In billows length'ning to th'horizon round,
Now scoop'd in gulps, with mountains now embos'd;
And hear the voice of mirth and song rebound,
Flock, herds, and water-falls along the hoar profound!
Minstrel, B. 1st.
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