Frost at Midnight

Frost at Midnight

Carved into the sandstone risers on the steps leading down to the jetties at Keswick, are a few lines from the poem Frost at Midnight by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

For I was reared    In the great city, pent ‘mid cloisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.    But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags    Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores    And mountain crags:

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was one of the Lakeland Poets, along with William Wordsworth and Robert Southey, all of whom spent many hours walking in the Lake District. He came to my attention, not because of poetry, but because he is credited with the first documented ascent of Scafell (then thought to be the highest peak in England) on 5th August 1802, and the rather risky manner in which he descended Broad Stand (noted as an accident black spot by the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team). His rather novel method of descent was to hang by his fingertips over a drop, let go and land on the ledge below, then repeat until he got to the bottom. Under no circumstances follow in his footsteps!

Before I forget – a Happy New Year to one and all!

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