previous next
[302] miles of bare, pure mountain-top, of pastures scented with sweet-fern, of lanes hedged with raspberry bushes and arched with wild grape, of moist sphagnum meadows where the shy arethusa rears itself, that breath has come. Before, all was city and suburb; it is country now. The next turn in the road shows you Wachusett, or Monadnock, or Ascutney, and you are among the hills.

The reprobate French poet Baudelaire, in one of his best poems, sighs to have been the lover of some youthful giantess; and describes her superb proportions as cast carelessly along the horizon and protecting her lover by their vast shade. Browning, more powerfully, describes the hills as gathering round his Childe Roland to watch the hour of danger beneath the Dark Tower:

The dying sunset kindled through a cleft;
The hills, like giants at a hunting, lay,
Chin upon hand, to see the game at bay-
“Now stab and end the creature — to the heft!”

And even the gentle Charles Lamb, reluctantly torn from London streets to visit Wordsworth and Coleridge at the English Lakes, could not escape this same circle of gigantic figures, and found them protecting and kindly as he looked from his window at night: “Glorious creatures, fine old fellows, Skiddaw, etc.” There is so much that is personal in the

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William Wordsworth (1)
Childe Roland (1)
S. T. Coleridge (1)
E. B. Browning (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: