O how I love thee, dear old Malhamdale!
With thy sequestered nooks and lovely vale,
Adorned by curious rocks and shady dells,
Fine waterfalls and rugged, high-peaked fells,
That lavishly display in many a part
The richest beauty of nature's art
In thee, old Malhamdale.
Thou dost at every season of the year,
In sunshine bright, and wintry storms severe,
Present to my admiring eyes a face
That's unsurpassed in beauty and in grace.
For, though I wander other sights to see,
Yet find I none that can compare with thee,
For, in the joyous and reviving spring,
What dale is there that can surpass thee in
The charms which budding tree and freshening field
And springing flower in rich abundance yield?
As nature fair arouses out of sleep,
And with consummate skill makes thee complete
In beauty, Malhamdale.
And when the soft and genial summer's air
Brings into bloom thy flowers of beauty rare,
They with thy new-borne stream and rocks unite
In making thee a wonder and delight,
While birds, which sport so joyously at play
Raise happy songs that drive dull care away
From thee, bright Malhamdale.
Or when the cold and searching autumn's breeze
Blights the fair flowers, and strips the dark green trees
Of all their leaves, which once were bright and gay
But now are left to wither and decay.
Although thou art of such great charm bereft,
I love thee still for there is beauty left
In thee, fair Malhamdale.
I love to see thee clad in garments fair
Which winter brings and spreads o'er thee with care.
As though to shield thy beauties from the cold,
She doth thee in pure white snow enfold,
And render thee more picturesque and grand,
While wonderingly at Windy Pike I stand
To view thee, sweet Malhamdale.
I live to view thee in the daylight clear,
And when the calm grey twilight hours appear,
Or when the moon sheds forth her mellow light
To cheer and grace the shadows of the night.
No matter when or where I gaze on thee,
Nought can I find but rich sublimity
In thee, my native dale.
Written by Betty Chester (Nee Banks)
at Windy Pike, Hanlith in her 18th year, 1881.
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