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Dungeon-Ghyll, Langdale

Dungeon-Ghyll, Langdale

Photographer: Ogle, Thomas

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1864

Shelfmark: 1347.f.21

Item number: 37

Length: 8.5

Width: 9

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

View by Thomas Ogle of the Dungeon Ghyll Force in the Great Langdale area of the Lake District, 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. Wordsworth (1770-1850) made the Lake District his home at the beginning of the 19th century. The beauty of the natural world and the local landscape greatly influenced his work. The Dungeon Ghyll Force is a dramatic sixty-foot waterfall so called for the natural cavern recessed behind it. It is the setting for Wordsworth’s narrative poem of 1800 ‘The Idle Shepherd-Boys; Or, Dungeon-Ghyll Force. A Pastoral’ in which a passing poet rescues a neglected lamb that has fallen into the rocky chasm of the waterfall:

“Along the river’s stony marge
The sand-lark chants a joyous song;
The thrush is busy in the wood,
And carols loud and strong.
A thousand lambs are on the rocks,
All newly-born! both earth and sky
Keep jubilee; and more than all,
Those boys with their green coronal;
They never hear the cry,
That plaintive cry! Which up the hill
Comes from the depth of Dungeon-Ghyll.

It was a spot, which you may see
If ever you to Langdale go:
Into a chasm a mighty block
Hath fallen, and made a bridge of rock:
The gulf is deep below:
And in a basin black and small
Receives a lofty waterfall.”

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