Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/286

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[274]

bed. The very entrance into these grounds is marked by the finest touches of natural scenery, which instantly flashed upon the mind the superiority of these wild and artless features over elaborate and formal decoration. The path, following the brook that forms innumerable little falls in its course, which is almost impervious to the sun, conducted us to the summer-house, a seat erected opposite to a beautiful series of cascades, called the alum springs. These are three in number, tumling down the rough face of a rock, which struggles to make itself visible through a thick skreen of wood, into a brook sixty feet below the falls. From this point the dell grows still more wild, and the hills to the right more abrupt, the cascades more frequent, and the rocks more grotesque; forming a scene of abstraction perfectly answering the description of the poet's "Mansion of Contemptation:"

" Here may she imp
" Her eagle plumes; the poet here may hold
" Sweet converse with his muse; the curious sage,
" Who comments on great nature's ample tome,
" May find that volume here. For here are caves
" Where rise those gurgling fills, that sing the song
" Which Contemplation loves; here shadowy glades,
" Where through the trem'lous foliage darts the ray
" That gilds the poet's day-dream."