The Calm That Nature Breathes
Such beauty was a wondrous sight to see;
It held my gaze for many a moment then.
A burst of autumn colours and a view,
Exquisite as a verse from Nature’s pen.
It told of Wordsworth’s Lakeland in its glory,
Of luscious greens and tranquil lake so still;
While purpure mountains in the distance loom
And to the mellow view great calm instil.
A murmur in the breeze adorned the scene,
A susurrus in a silent land of ease.
It brought to me a sense of peace and love
Amidst those waters, hills and ancient trees.
The stillness and the quiet of evening time,
The colours then displayed before my sight,
Feelings of calm, of peace, and lasting love,
All came together then for my delight.
I shall remember this view for ever. I holidayed in 2001 at the Nannybrow , just north of Windermere and a few miles west of Ambleside in The Lake District, Cumbria.
One September day, still and fine, the water levels higher than usual after a period of prolonged rain, I captured the view from the terrace. I was transfixed for a long time, allowing the serenity and brilliance of the view to embed. To me it was an absolutely stunning experience. The panorama from my viewpoint gives majestic views down the beautiful Brathay Valley and towards the stunning scenery of the Langdales on the horizon. The photograph I took then introduces my poem. The scene gave me a sense of the powerful effect which the Lakeland scenery had on William Wordsworth. In particular it reminded me of the brief quotations below . . .
“A foretaste, a dim earnest, of the calm
That Nature breathes among the hills and groves.”
“. . . the sun in heaven . . . Beheld not vales more beautiful than ours”
From: ‘The Prelude: Book 1″:
The earth and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparell’d in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
From: “Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”
“Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!”
From: Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802
I have used a quotation from ‘The Preludes’ as the title of my own short poem, written in the same pentameter structure as Wordsworth used in many of his poems.
Langdale Pikes – drawing by Arthur Wainwright