Monastic Ruins

William Wordsworth

Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle upon the Restoration of Lord Clifford, the Shepherd, to the Estates and Honours of his Ancestors


                           The varied banks
Of Emont, hitherto unnamed in song,
And that monastic castle, 'mid tall trees,
Low standing by the margin of the stream,
A mansion visited (as fame reports)
By Sidney, where, in sight of our Helvellyn,
Or stormy Cross-fell, snatches he might pen
Of his Arcadia, by fraternal love
Inspired,—that river and those mouldering towers
Have seen us side by side, when, having clomb
The darksome windings of a broken stair,
And crept along a ridge of fractured wall,
Not without trembling, we in safety looked
Forth, through some Gothic window's open space,
And gathered with one mind a rich reward
From the far-stretching landscape, by the light
Of morning beautified, or purple eve;
Or, not less pleased, lay on some turret's head,
Catching from tufts of grass and hare-bell flowers
Their faintest whisper to the passing breeze,
Given out while midday heat oppressed the plains.


The "Mansion" is Brougham Castle, set by the confluence of the Eamont and Lowther Rivers.

Main Location:

Brougham Castle, Brougham, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 2AA, UK

Other locations:

Brougham Castle in Cumbria, subject of a poem by Wordsworth

The Poet William Wordsworth, who wrote many poems about places, including 'Monastic Ruins' the poem about Brougham Castle