Bryan Waller Procter

The gulfs of Borrodaile!—My soul delights
In these drear deserts. Now methinks a sense
Of something mightier than the common world
Runs trembling through the heart. A spirit born
Of mountain solitudes and sights sublime,
Of earth and sky, and the wild-wandering air,
Is present here. Unlike the royal power
Of Skiddaw, or Helvellyn crowned with clouds,
Or Kirkstone, guardian of the mountain way,
Here vague and barren grandeur spreads abroad,
And darkness and dismay and danger dwell.
No grassy sward of green is nourished here,
Like that which (as old song proclaims) sprang freshly
On shore Sicilian and in Tempe's vale;
Nor streams of silver, such as echo once
Haunted, or on whose banks the wood-nymphs played,
Or pensive pale Narcissus loved to lie.
But here a wilful, riotous torrent comes
Mad from the mountains, and when July drought
Scorches the hills, here all subdued yet wild
The muttering river drags its lazy course,
And makes hoarse discord with the rocks and stones.
No solitary tree puts forth its head,
Nor flowering shrub: the "palmy fern" has left
A place so desolate; and the clinging moss,
The last friend of the desert, here has died!