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west, the coast of England, like a cloud, crested with Dover Castle, the evening star and the glory of the sky; the reflections in the water were more beautiful than the sky itself; purple waves brighter than precious stones forever melting away upon the sands."
SOME MEMORIAL NOOKS.
TT may not be inopportune to mention, in this place, I a few of the spots in the neighborhood of this, their early home, with which the memory of Miss Wordsworth is more especially associated. By Wordsworth himself, indeed, the whole of the Lake district of England has been immortalized, and is more associated with his name and life than is the country of the Trossachs with that of Sir Walter Scott. In illustration of this it is only necessary to refer to his poems on the naming of places and inscriptions. This fact alone, no less than the exalted teaching and beauty of many of his works, will serve to preserve the memory of Wordsworth ; and probably thousands, to whom he would otherwise be only a name, will become acquainted with him as a loved and trusted teacher. If the spirits of the departed ever return and hover over the scenes of earth which were loved and hallowed in the oldworld life, it needs no force of the imagination to fancy that of this most spiritual of women, lingering by sunny noon or shady evening near the haunts, where, with her kindred companion, she walked in happy converse. Among such favored nooks probably the next in interest to their loved “garden-orchard” would be found the beauteous vale of Easedale. Here is a terrace walk in Lancrigg wood which Wordsworth many years after said he and his sister discovered three days after they took up their abode at Grasmere, and which long remained their favorite haunt. The late Lady Richardson, in an article in “Sharpe's London Magazine,” referring at a later period to this place, says : “ It was their custom to spend the fine days of summer in the open air, chiefly in the valley of Easedale. The * Prelude 'was chiefly composed in a green mountain terrace, on the Easedale side of Helm Crag, known by the name of Under Lancrigg, a place which he used to say he knew by heart. The ladies sat at their work on the hill-side, while he walked to and fro, on the smooth green mountain turf, humming out his verses to himself, and then repeating then to his sympathizing and ready scribes, to be noted down on the spot and transcribed at home.”
The winding path leading up to the tarn on the west of Easedale brook, on the other side of the valley, is, perhaps, still more closely identified with Miss Wordsworth. The first of his “ Poems on the Naming of Places” was, he has stated, suggested on the banks of the brook that runs through Easedale, by the side of which he had composed thousands of verses. The poem is as follows: —
“ It was an April morning : fresh and clear
The Rivulet, delighting in its strength,
The spirit of enjoyment and desire,
Our thoughts at least are ours; and this wild nook, My EMMA, I will dedicate to thee.'
- Soon did the spot become my other home,
To whom I sometimes in our idle talk
It is hardly necessary to mention that Miss Wordsworth is more than once in the poems referred to as the poet's sister “Emma” or “Emmeline.” It is, perhaps, rather difficult to determine on what precise spot they stood when this poem was composed, and to which the name of “ Emma's Dell” was given. Professor Knight, in his very interesting work, “The English Lake District, as interpreted by Wordsworth," concludes that the place is where the brook takes a “sudden turning” a few hundred yards above Goody Bridge ; but there are other spots in the brook a little further up the valley to which the description in the poem is probably equally applicable.
Another poem of the same series may appropriately here find a place, containing, as it does, a loving allusion to Dorothy. This time it is Miss Wordsworth herself who gives the name of William's Peak to the rugged summit of Stone Arthur, situated between Green Head Ghyil (the scene of Wordsworth's pastoral poem “Michael ") and Tongue Ghyll, a short distance on the right-hand side of the road leading from Grasmere to Keswick : –
“ There is an Eminence, — of these our hills
The last that parleys with the setting sun;