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The Banks of Wye   By: (1766-1823)

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[Illustration: View of the Wye through a Gateway at Crickhowel.]



In Four Books.


Author of The Farmer's Boy .

London: Printed for the Author; Vernor, Hood, and Sharpe, Poultry; and Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, Paternoster Row;


Printed by T. Hood and Co., St. John's Square, London.

To THOMAS LLOYD BAKER, ESQ. Of Stout's Hill, Uley, And His Excellent Lady; And ROBERT BRANSBY COOPER, ESQ. Of Ferwey Hill, Dursley, In The County Of Gloucester, And All The Members Of His Family, THIS JOURNAL IS DEDICATED, With Sentiments Of High Esteem, And A Lively Recollection Of Past Pleasures, By Their Humble Servant, THE AUTHOR.


In the summer of 1807, a party of my good friends in Gloucestershire proposed to themselves a short excursion down the Wye, and through part of South Wales.

While this plan was in agitation, the lines which I had composed on "Shooter's Hill," during ill health, and inserted in my last volume, obtained their particular attention. A spirit of prediction, as well as sorrow, is there indulged; and it was now in the power of this happy party to falsify such predictions, and to render a pleasure to the writer of no common kind. An invitation to accompany them was the consequence; and the following Journal is the result of that invitation.

Should the reader, from being a resident, or frequent visitor, be well acquainted with the route, and able to discover inaccuracies in distances, succession of objects, or local particulars, he is requested to recollect, that the party was out but ten days; a period much too short for correct and laborious description, but quite sufficient for all the powers of poetry which I feel capable of exerting. The whole exhibits the language and feelings of a man who had never before seen a mountainous country; and of this it is highly necessary that the reader should be apprized.

A Swiss, or perhaps a Scottish Highlander, may smile at supposed or real exaggerations; but they will be excellent critics, when they call to mind that they themselves judge, in these cases, as I do, by comparison.

Perhaps it may be said, that because much of public approbation has fallen to my lot, it was unwise to venture again. I confess that the journey left such powerful, such unconquerable impressions on my mind, that embodying my thoughts in rhyme became a matter almost of necessity. To the parties concerned I know it will be an acceptable little volume: to whom, and to the public, it Is submitted with due respect.


City Road, London,

June 30,1811




The Vale of Uley. Forest of Dean. Ross. Wilton Castle. Goodrich Castle. Courtfield, Welch Bicknor, Coldwell. Gleaner's Song. Coldwell Rocks. Symmon's Yat. Great Doward. New Wier. Arthur's Hall. Martin's Well. The Coricle. Arrival at Monmouth.



"Rouse from thy slumber, pleasure calls, arise, Quit thy half rural bower, awhile despise The thraldom that consumes thee. We who dwell Far from thy land of smoke, advise thee well. Here Nature's bounteous hand around shall fling, Scenes that thy Muse hath never dar'd to sing. When sickness weigh'd thee down, and strength declin'd; When dread eternity absorb'd thy mind, Flow'd the predicting verse, by gloom o'erspread, That 'Cambrian mountains' thou should'st never tread, That 'time worn cliff, and classic stream to see,' Was wealth's prerogative, despair for thee. Come to the proof; with us the breeze inhale, Renounce despair, and come to Severn's vale; And where the COTSWOLD HILLS are stretch'd along, Seek our green dell, as yet unknown to song: Start hence with us, and trace, with raptur'd eye, The wild meanderings of the beauteous WYE; Thy ten days leisure ten days joy shall prove, And rock and stream breathe amity and love... Continue reading book >>

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