Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/180

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[168]

obliged us to follow a descent for the distance of one hundred and twenty feet more, to a spot where the light of day disappears, and candles were put into our hands to illuminate our farther progress through the Stygian darkness of the cavern. A wicket was now opened by Dekin, (who secures the penetralia of his magnificent temple with a lock and key) and a little boat appeared to carry us up the stream, (for a short distance) that flows through the bottom of the cave. Landed again on the rock, we pursued our course, like Æneas and his guide,

" Obscuri sola sub no6te per umbram,
" Perque domos Ditis vacuas et inania regna;"

in silent wonder through a succession of caverns, the extremity of which was lighted up with candles, that only rendered darkness visible, since their light (lost in the gloomy vacuity around) was unable to reach the distant sides and lofty roof of the abyss. Continuing our course beyond the lights, we found ourselves in another fearful hollow, called the chancel where our ears were suddenly surprised by the sound of vocal harmony. The strains produced (which were religious) could not be said to be such as "take the imprisoned soul, and lap it in Elysium;" but being unexpected;