* Hoyle Lake, the real name, better suited to verse than its recently-assumed appellation, High Lake. ,
A POEM, WRITTEN ON THAT COAST, AND ADDRESSED TO ITS PROPRIETOR, SIR JOHN STANLEY.
1 THEE, STANLEY, thee, our gladden'd spirit hails,
2 Since Life's first good for us thy efforts gain,
3 Who, Habitants of Albion's inland vales,
4 Reside far distant from her circling main.
5 These lightsome Walls, beneath thy generous cares
6 Arose, the lawny scene's convivial boast,
7 While at thy voice clear-cheek'd Hygeia rears
8 Her aqueous altars on this tepid coast.
9 This coast, the nearest to our central home,
10 That green Britannia's watry zone displays,
11 Now gives the drooping Frame a cheerful Dome*
* The large and handsome Hotel, built in the year 1792, by SIR JOHN STANLEY, and which converts these pleasant Downs into a commodious sea-bathing Place.,
12 Whose Lares†
† Lares, Household-Gods. smile, and promise lengthen'd days.
13 When gather'd fogs the pale horizon steep,
14 Falling in heavy, deep, continual rain,
15 If, ere the Sun sink shrouded in the deep,
16 His crystal rays pervade the vapory train,
17 Dry are the turfy downs, diffusive spread
18 O'er the light surface of the sandy mound,
19 Where e'en the languid Form may safely tread,
20 Drink the pure gale, and eye the blue profound.
21 Dear Scene! — that stretch'd between the silver arms
22 Of Deva*
* Deva, the classical name of the DEE.
, and of Mersey, meets the main,
"Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream."
Also Prior, in Henry and Emma.
"Him, great in peace and wealth, fair Deva knows."
MILTON, probably uses the epithet wizard, in allusion to the rites and mysteries performed on the banks of the Deva, or Dee. In Spencer, that River is made the haunt of Magicians. That fine poetic Scholar and Critic, the late Mr. T. WALTON, observes, in his Edition of Milton's lesser Poems, that MERLIN used to visit old Timon in a green Valley, at the foot of the Mountain, Rauran-Vaur, in Merionethshire, from which Mountain the River Deva springs. See Fairy Queen, B. 1. C. ix. V. 4. In Drayton, an old Poet, with whose works Milton was familiar, it is styled "the hallowed, the holy, the ominous flood."
23 And when the sun-gilt day illumes its charms,
24 Boasts of peculiar grace, nor boasts in vain.
25 Tho' near the Beach, dark Helbrie's lonely Isle,
26 Reposes sullen in the watry way,
27 Hears round her rocks the tides, returning, boil,
28 And o'er her dusky sandals dash their spray.
29 Mark, to the left, romantic Cambria's coast,
30 Her curtain'd mountains rising o'er the floods;
31 While seas on Orm's beak'd promontory burst,
32 Blue Deva swells her mirror to the woods.
33 High o'er that varied ridge of Alpine forms,
34 Vast MOEL-Y-FAMMAU*
* Moel-y-Fammau, the first word spoken as one syllable, as if spelt Mole. The name signifies in Welch, Mother of Mountains. It is seen in the Hoyle-Lake prospect, behind the Flintshire Hills, and considerably higher than any of them. towers upon the sight,
35 Lifts her maternal bosom to the storms,
36 And screens her filial mountains from their blight.
37 Far on the right, the dim Lancastrian plains,
38 In pallid distance, glimmer thro' the sky,
39 Tho', hid by jutting rocks, thy splendid fanes,
40 Commercial Liverpool, elude the eye.
41 Wide in the front the confluent Oceans roll,
42 Amid whose restless billows guardian Hoyle,
43 To screen her azure Lake when Tempests howl,
44 Spreads the firm texture of her amber Isle†
† Amber Isle, the Sand Island, six miles long, and four broad, which lying in the Sea, a mile from shore, forms the Lake; and breaking the force of the Tides, constitutes the safety of that Lake as an Harbour and Bathing-Place..
45 And tho' the surging Tide's resistless waves
46 Roll, day, and night, its level surface o'er,
47 Tho' the skies darken, and the whirlwind raves,
48 They froth, — but rush innoxious to the shore.
49 When fear-struck sea-men, 'mid the raging flood,
50 Hear thundering SHIPWRECK yell her dire decrees,
51 See her pale arm rend every sail, and shroud,
52 And o'er the high mast lift her whelming seas,
53 If to thy quiet harbour, gentle Hoyle,
54 The shatter'd Navy thro' the tempest flies,
55 Each joyous Mariner forgets his toil,
56 And carols to the vainly angry skies.
57 What tho' they vex the Lake's cerulean stream,
58 And curl its billows on the shelly floor,
59 Yet, in despite of Fancy's timid dream,
60 Age, and Infirmity, may plunge secure.
61 How gay the Scene when Spring's fair mornings break,
62 Or Summer-noons illume the grassy mound,
63 When anchor'd Navies crowd the peopled Lake,
64 Or deck the distant Ocean's skiey bound.
65 Like leafless forests, on its verge extreme
66 Rise the tall masts; — or spreading wide their sails,
67 Silvering, and shining in the solar beam,
68 Stand on that last blue line, and court the gales.
69 The peopled Lake, of song, and lively cheer,
70 And Boatswain's whistle bears the jovial sound;
71 While rosy pennants, floating on the air,
72 Tinge the soft seas of glass, that sleep around.
73 'Twas on these Downs*
* KING WILLIAM encamped his army on the Hoyle Lake Downs, before he took shipping from thence, on his victorious expedition to Ireland. the Belgian Hero spread
74 His ardent Legions in auspicious hours,
75 Ere to Ierne's hostile shores he led
76 To deathless glory their embattled Powers.
77 When, like the Conqueror of the Eastern World,
78 That stemm'd with dauntless breast the Granic flood,
79 His victor-sword immortal WILLIAM whirl'd,
80 And Boyne's pale waters dyed with Rebel blood.
81 Since now, to health devoted, this calm shore
82 Breathes renovation in its foamy wave,
83 For the kind DONOR shall each heart implore,
84 The good his energies to others gave.
85 That long on him clear-cheek'd Hygeia's smile,
86 And long on all he loves, serene may shine,
87 Who from thy sparkling coast, benignant HOYLE,
88 Diffus'd the blessings of her crystal shrine.