vrijdag 8 juli 2016

Dorothy Wordsworth -- 9 juli 1828

Dorothy Wordsworth (1771–1855) was een Engels dichteres en dagboekschrijfster, en de jongere zus van de dichter William Wordsworth. Haar dagboeken staan hier online.

Wednesday, 9th, Peele [op het eiland Man]. — Morning bright, and all the town busy. Yesterday the first of the herring fishing, and black baskets laden with silvery herrings were hauled through the town, herrings in the hand on sticks, and huge black fish dragged through the dust. Sick at the sight, ferried across the harbour to the Island Castle, very grand and very wild, with cathedral, tower, and extensive ruins, and tombstones of recent date: several of shipwrecked men. Our guide showed us the place where, as Sir Walter Scott tells us, Captain Edward Christian was confined, and another dungeon where the Duchess of Gloucester was shut up fifteen years, and there died, and used to appear in the shape of a black dog; and a soldier who used to laugh at the story vowed he would speak to it and died raving mad. The Castle was built before artillery was used, and the walls are so thin that it is surprising that it has stood so long. The grassy floor of the hill delightful to rest on through a summer's day, to view the ships and sea, and hear the dashing waves, here seldom gentle, for the entrance to this narrow harbour is very rocky. Fine caves towards the north, but it being high water, we could not go to them. Our way to Kirk Michael, a delightful terrace; sea to our left, cultivated hills to the right, and views backwards to Peele charming. The town stands under a very steep green hill, with a watch-tower at the top, and the castle on its own rock in the sea—a sea as clear as any mountain stream. Fishing-vessels still sallying forth. Visited the good Bishop Wilson's grave, and rambled under the shade of his trees at Bishop's Court, a mile further. The whole country pleasant to Ramsey; steep red banks of river. The town close to the sea, within a large bay, formed to the north by a bare red steep, to the south by green mountain and glen and fine trees, with houses on the steep. Ships in harbour, a steam-vessel at a distance, and sea and hills bright in the evening-time. Pleasant houses overlooking the sea, but the cottage70 all unsuspected till we reach a little spring, where it lurks at the foot of a glen, under green steeps. A low thatched white house dividing the grassy pleasure plot, adorned with flowers, and above it on one side a hanging garden—flowers, fruit, vegetables intermingled, and above all the orchard and forest trees; peeps of the sea and up the glen, and a full view of the green steep; a little stream murmuring below. We sauntered in the garden, and I paced from path to path, picked ripe fruit, ran down to the sands, there paced, watched the ships and steamboats—in short, was charmed with the beauty and novelty of the scene: the quiet rural glen, the cheerful shore, the solemn sea. To bed before day was gone.

 Thursday. — Rose early. Could not resist the sunny grass plot, the shady woody steeps, the bright flowers, the gentle breezes, the soft flowing sea. Walked to Manghold Head, and Manghold Kirk: the first where the cross was planted. The views of Ramsey Bay delightful from the Head: a fine green steep, on the edge of which stands the pretty chapel, with one bell outside, an ancient pedestal curiously carved, Christ on the cross, the mother and infant Jesus, the Manx arms, and other devices; near it the square foundation surrounded with steps of another cross, on which is now placed a small sundial, the whole lately barbarously whitewashed, with church and roof—a glaring contrast to the grey thatched cottages, and green trees, which partly embower the church. Numerous are the grave-stones surrounding[Pg 292] that neat and humble building: a sanctuary taken from the waste, where fern and heath grow round, and over-grow the graves. I sate on the hill, while Henry sought the Holy Well, visited once a year by the Manx men and women, where they leave their offering—a pin, or any other trifle. Walked leisurely back to Ramsey; fine views of the bay, the orange-coloured buoy, the lovely town, the green steeps. The town very pretty seen from the quay as at the mountain's foot; rich wood climbing up the mountain glen, and spread along the hillsides.

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