27. On Visiting Matlock - Derbyshire
The carriage stops - the neat and smiling Inn,
The works of Man we leave - Gods works to win.
Now then up shaggy hills we climb
To get to Natures cavern, grand and fine,
This scene is Natures work, these trees are hers,
These oaks, these elms, these yews, these firs. -
Now to her Palace, swiftly draw we near,
Which ever must inspire great awe and fear;
Where shaggy rocks are opening to our view,
Her jewels sparkle o'er, with wat'ry dew, 10
Now burning tapers in each hand is [sic] put,
To light the way, to guide the weary foot,
Down the abyss o'er rugged path we stray,
And steps descending reach the wat'ry way,
Here heedless Ba, with magic wonder struck, 15
With eyes upraised, she gave her foot a duck.
The cavern dark, Papas laugh resounded,
Mama's, Bro's, Addles,' all loud rebounded;
Vast chambers now expanding to our sight,
Glittering in various gems, of spar so bright, 20
The massive rocks upon an angle rest,
Nature bears all these wonders in her breast,
Now then advancing to the morning sun,
We quit this shadowy cave with vapours hung,
And joy to see the beauteous glowing day, 25
The rocks, woods, waters, all in bright array,
Then running, tumbling down the hill,
New wonders rise, our thoughts to fill,
Papa so ever kind, our joys to swell,
Led us to see the petrifying well,
Where heads, wigs, baskets, eggs, lie on the ground
Soon turned to stone, in dropping waters drowned.
Farewell, farewell, ye scenes of joy so sweet,
All other joys lie humbly at thy feet.
Date: 11 June 1814, Carlton, given with title.
Source: Berg Poems, ff. 17-17v.
Publication: HUP 1:46-47.