Aira Force, Gowbarrow Park, Ulleswater
Photographer: Ogle, Thomas
Medium: Photographic print
View by Thomas Ogle of the Aira Force in Gowbarrow Park, Cumbria, illustrating 'Our English Lakes, Mountains, And Waterfalls, as seen by William Wordsworth' (1864). The book juxtaposes photographs of the Lake District with poems by the English Romantic poet. The Aira Force, a 24.4 metre (80 foot) waterfall, lies on the west side of Gowbarrow Park on the banks of Ullswater in the northern Lake District. The area is significant in the poetry of Wordsworth (1770-1850) as his famous poem 'Daffodils' was inspired by a visit to the woods of Gowbarrow in April 1802, and the recollection of this visit made by his sister Dorothy in her journal. Wordsworth visited the Aira Force in 1899 during a walking tour with his fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), and it appears in his poem ‘The Waterfall and the Eglantine’ (1800), which the photograph accompanies. The passage below is taken from the poem:
“'Begone, thou fond presumptuous elf,'
Exclaimed a thundering voice,
'Nor dare to thrust thy foolish self
Between me and my choice!'
A falling Water swollen with snows
Thus spake to a poor Briar-rose,
That, all bespattered with his foam,
And dancing high and dancing low,
Was living, as a child might know,
In an unhappy home.”