Dunald Mill Hole

Letitia Elizabeth Landon

In the village of Kellet, about five miles from Lancaster.

I fly from the face of my foe in his might,
I ask from the sky but the shadow of night,
I am lonely, yet dread lest the wandering wind
Should bring me the step or the voice of my kind.
I hear the soft voices that sing in the cave,
When from the rent limestone out-gushes the wave;
While the echoes that haunt the dim caverns repeat,
The music they make in repeating more sweet.

There are colours like rainbows spread over the wall,
For the damps treasure sunbeams wherever they fall;
In each little nook where the daylight finds room
Wild flow'rets like fairy gifts burst into bloom.
The small lakes are mirrors, which give back the sky,
The stars in their depths on a dark midnight lie,
I gaze not on heaven—I dare not look there,
But I watch the deep shadows, and know my despair.

From the sparry roof falls a perpetual shower,
Doth nature then weep o'er some evil-starr'd hour,
While memory all that it mourns for endears,
Such sorrow is gentle, for blessed are tears.
I weep not, I sit in my silence alone,
My heart, like the rock that surrounds me, is stone,
Beside me forever a pale shadow stands,
My hands clasp for prayer, but there's blood on those hands.

I rue not my anger—I rue but my shame:
Let my old halls be lonely, and perish my name!
e made them lonely, 'twas she flung the stain,
I slew her while sleeping—I'd slay her again.
O sweet bird, that lovest in that old tree to sing,
Whose home is the free air, I envy thy wing,
Yet where'er those wild wings my spirit might bear,
She still must be with me, the false and the fair.

* A rugged path leads to this beautiful and spacious cavern, which may well, in former days, have been the place of refuge supposed in the foregoing poem.

The brook which runs through it is broken by the pointed rock into many waterfalls, and also feeds several small lakes; a spring trickles from the roof, and the sides are covered with a profusion of moss, and weeds, and wild flowers.

Like most of these caverns, the walls are covered with sparry incrustations.