Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Hardraw Force

“We found the rock, which had before appeared like a wall, extending itself over our heads like the ceiling of a huge cave, from the summit of which the water shot directly over our heads into a basin, and among the fragments wrinkled over with masses of ice as white as snow, or rather, as Dorothy said, like congealed froth. The water fell at least ten yards from us and we stood directly behind it." (Letter from William and Dorothy Wordsworth to Coleridge, December 1799) 

From the high lonely fells you’ve carved your course
And now in a single sudden chute you fall:
Loud, fierce, a mighty thunderous force,
Spending your pent power, your strength, your all
In this dark hollow where I stand, confronted
By an immense cavernous echoing wall
Scooped out around you, in sedimented
Layers of limestone, sandstone, shale.
No seedling could settle long enough here
To take root; no climber find a stay
In the serrated sides which drop sheer
To the beck as it tumbles down the valley.
But I can walk behind you, see you batter
The rocks in the pool below; or watch the way,
In perpetual motion, you smash and shatter
Your own reflection with dancing froth and spray. 

A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...