Up now through broken boulders, wet with perpetual mist, slippery with sodden leaf of russet gold, up till a double wych elm, or two elms bound in sisterly embrace—as if they had in fear clutched one another as they stood in awe upon the torrent’s brink, is gained; there in shelter of a huge rock, emerald-coated, silver-shining with the spray, we shelter from the drenching water-dust and see another view of glorious Lodore. See and hear, for while the milk-white waters flash and swirl around the ebon boulders in mid-fall, we hear the tall upstanding cliffs make echo to their voice—such sound as he who hears can never quite forget. We climb again up by a slippery path only fit for a goat’s foot, helped by impending branches, helped more by the thought that yonder one will gain not only the noblest view of the waterfall, but a far outlook over the wide-watered vale to grey-blue western hills, beyond which booms the sea that gave us, on the wings of the wind, all this majesty of sound and motion. (p. 185)
In this hurricane, the salt of that ocean is on one’s lips, and if its actual murmurs and the ‘scents of the infinite sea’ are denied us, at least by proxy they are ours. For as we slowly win our way upward the scent of Lodore fills the air, even as its sound fills our ears. Not the kind of paper-mill scent one knows so well within the locks or by the back-waters of the Thames, but scent born of mountain springs and fellside tarns and peaty meadows—scents as delicate as they are subtle. (pp. 185-186)
We have gained our vantage point for sight and sound. The huge rocks appear like leviathans bobbing their noses through the foam. A tree trunk has fallen, and seems to have been caught and held by the mouth of some vast hippopotamus, who rejoices as the torrent dashes over his vast back. And the sound is not of bellowing behemoth or snorting river-horse. No; but such sound as seems to bring all worlds to unison. Shut your eyes, lean, and listen; you may hear a mighty army tramping by, you may hear the clashing of innumerable bells, you may hear the blare of trumpets, you may hear the shouting of a festal multitude, and ever beneath the deepest harmonies the tattoo of the thundering river-god, the drum-drum-drumming of Lodore. (p. 186)….
We turned for home; a patch of blue sky shone momentarily above the purple hollow of sound and foam. And though still ‘the forest cracked, the waters curled,’ a sunbeam showered radiance as it flew by moaning woodland and by silent crag. In the Great Wood all colours of purple, amber, rose, and amethyst leapt out at the passing of that gleam. One could not but compare the marvellous and changeful effects of light and colour to those that, in some enchanted land of mystery, the coloured fires of the wizard of the pantomime calls forth, for our children’s amazement. (p. 188)
Now all near was dark, while far ahead the witchery of the golden woodland grew. Now Walla Crag stood purple grey, now shone in lucent silver powdered with larch-tree gold, whilst ever on beyond the woody lane, Skiddaw, as blue as solid cobalt, rose calmly up into a wandering storm-white sky. And yet for all this witchery of colour, for all this magic transformation scene, one vision stayed—that far-off wreath of quiet snow,—snow that had turned on nearer view to scent and sound, to light and life and laughter, to power and impassioned loveliness, there in the resonant chasm of Lodore. (p. 188)
(Lake Country Sketches, pp. 176-188)