button to main menu  Old Cumbria Gazetteer
included in:-  

 Derwent Water
viewpoint, Derwent Water by moonlight
site name:-   Derwent Water
civil parish:-   Keswick (formerly Cumberland)
county:-   Cumbria
locality type:-   viewpoint
10Km square:-   NY22

evidence:-   descriptive text:- West 1778 (11th edn 1821) 
item:-  poemOde to the Sunmoonlight
source data:-   Guide book, A Guide to the Lakes, by Thomas West, published by William Pennington, Kendal, Cumbria once Westmorland, and in London, 1778 to 1821.
image WS21P116, button  goto source
Page 116:-  "Dr. Brown recommends, as a conclusion of the tour of this lake, that it be viewed by moon-light. He says, 'A walk by still moon-light (at which time the distant water-falls are heard in all the variety of sound) among these enchanting dales, opens a scene of such delicate beauty, repose, and solemnity, as exceeds all description.'"
"An expedition of this kind depends much on the choice of time in making the tour. It is better a little before, than after the full moon. If the evening be still, the voices of the water-falls are re-echoed from every rock and cavern, in a manner truly singular and pleasing. The setting sun tips the mountain's top with the softest refulgence; and the rising moon with her silver rays just continues in vision the glories of its base. The surface of the lake, that in the day reflects the azure sky, the deep green woods, or hoar-coloured rocks, is now a sable mirror, studded with the reflected gems of the starry heavens; a plain on which are pencilled by the moon the fair outlines and shadows of the hills behind which she labours. All now is in faint light, grave shade, or solemn darkness, which apparently increases the vastness of objects, and enwraps them in a solemn horror, that strikes the mind of the be-"
image WS21P117, button  goto source
Page 117:-  "[be]holder with reverential awe, and pleasing melancholy [1]."
"[1] Here the reader's mind may be fitly prepared for perusal of the following beautiful night-piece of Dr. Brown, preserved to us by Mr. Cumberland, in the dedication of his Ode to the Sun."
"Now sunk the Sun, now twilight sunk, and night / Rode in her zenith; not a passing breeze / Sigh'd to the grove, which in the midnight air / Stood motionless, and in the peaceful floods / Inverted hung, for now the billow slept / Along the shore, nor heav'd the deep, but spread / A shining mirror to the moon's pale orb, / Which dim and waning, o'er the shadowy cliffs, / The solemn woods, and spiry mountains' tops, / Her glimmering faintness threw: now every eye, / Oppress'd with toil, was drown'd in deep repose, / Save that the unseen shepherd in his watch, / Prop'd on his crook, stood list'ning by the fold, / And gaz'd the starry vault, and pendant moon; / Nor voice, nor sound broke on the deep serene, / But the soft murmur, of swift-gushing rills, / Forth issuing from the mountain's distant steep, / (Unheard till now, and now scarce heard) proclaim'd / All things at rest, and imag'd the still voice / Of quiet whisp'ring in the ear of night."
image WS21P196, button  goto source
Addendum; Dr Brown's Letter describing the Vale and Lake of Keswick 
Page 196:-  "... Let me now conduct you down again, to the valley, and conclude with one circumstance more, which is, that a walk by still moonlight (at which time the distant water-falls are heard in all their variety of sound) among these enchanting dales, opens a scene of such delicate beauty, repose, and solemnity, as exceeds all description."

person:-   author
 : West, Thomas
place:-   Derwent Water
date:-   1778
period:-   18th century, late
period:-   1780s
item:-   guide bookGuide to the Lakes

button to lakes menu  Lakes Guides menu.