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* Long rolling years have swept those scenes away,
And Peace is on the mountain and the fell;
But hear the distant sheepwalk's tinkling bell.” Other spots there are, I would have you likewise visit; those deep wild glens among the mountains, whose very rudeness renders them picturesque. Such coves as
-keep till June December's snow; where
“ The rainbow comes the cloud,
Such varied scenes does Wensleydale afford: but above all, omit not the mouldering walls of hallowed Jervaux; and when you tread the aisles of its once glorious but now desecrated church, remember to Whom the building was once dedicated ; and WHOSE DIVINE PRESENCE formerly abode there day and night. And if, unhappily, you are swayed by no higher consideration,-no purer feeling of devotion,-at least for the sake of the holy prelates, and brave nobles, and fair ladies, whose recorded and magnificent monuments have long been overthrown, but whose mortal bodies yet lie beneath your feet, awaiting the hour when together with yours they shall become immortal, let thoughts of reverential awe be cherished in your heart. .
Dr. Whitaker calls the confines of the hills “the Piedmont of Richmondshire," an appellation not undeserved. Amongst the spots whence the finest views are obtained, I may enumerate Witton Fell, Leyburn Shawl, Scarthe Nick, Morpeth Gate, Mowbray Point, and Kidston Bank Top. All disclose splendid landscapes. But it seems unjust, and is really difficult to make a selection amongst the numerous points from which an artist may choose subjects for the exercise of his pencil, or a poet for the effusions of his muse.
Tedious as a thrice told tale I fear I am now becoming; and therefore, gentle or ungentle reader, I close this Prologue with those lines of Goldsmith, appropriately chosen by Maude as an epigraph to his “WENSLEYDALE.”
How blest is he who crowns in shades like these,
"The moors-all hail! ye changeless, ye sublime,
But list'ning to his beating heart-ye lie!
With winds and clouds dread harmony ye keep,
Ye seem alone beneath the boundless sky :
Ye speak, are mute, and there is no reply.
Of hills like chaos, ere the first command
'Let there be light!' bade light and beauty be."
WENSLEYDALE, otherwise called Yorevale or Jorevalle, is a beautiful and extensive valley in the wapentake of Hang
West, in Richmondshire, North York. It may be considered to commence at Kilgram Bridge, and to extend, stretching westward, almost as far as the Lady's Pillar on the confines of Westmoreland. This however is modern Wensleydale. The ancient boundary was where Bain fell into Yore on the south side, and Meerbeck on the north. All the country west of that to Hell Gill was a wild forest.(1)
In this district a variety of scenery exists, unsurpassed in beauty by any in England. Mountains, clothed at their summits with purple heather interspersed with huge crags, and at their bases with luxuriant herbage, bound the view on either hand. Down the valley's centre flows the winding Yore, one of the most serpentine rivers our island boasts; now boiling and foaming in a narrow channel over sheets of limestone—now forming cascades only equalled by the cataracts of the Nile—and anon spreading out into a broad smooth stream, as calm and placid as a lowland lake. On the banks lie rich pastures, occasionly relieved at the eastern extremity of the valley by cornfields. Other streams, mere mountain torrents, increase the waters of the Yore during their course; and below Ulshaw, in the lands of East Witton, the Cover, which gives name to an adjacent dale, becomes united with them.
The briefest, but perhaps the best historian of Wensleydale, Maude, after speaking of the Yore being differently named Ure, Eure, and Jore-losing its title below Boroughbridge, where it receives the insignificant Ouse—and when afterwards augmented by the Derwent becoming the mighty Humber—justly says of its changed appellation, that it“ is a circumstance that provokes the poet's ire and exclamation. At what period this reform took place, we have not been able to determine; but there is a strong presumption that the river which now washes the walls of York, was anciently called Eure or Yore, whence the city seems to have derived its name;" as also did the county.
(1) Vide Appendix “Boundaries of Wensleydale."
Long before, Leland had been puzzled as to where the Isis and the Ure mingled their waters. In reality,
the Yore was the Roman Isis.
Michael Drayton in his "Polyolbion" makes "the proud North Riding" call Yore her "sovereign flood," and reproachfully speak of the waters of the West, because they only unite with hers when she no longer needs them, adding of the northern streams
These floods of whieh I speak, I now intend to trace From their first springing founts, beginning with the Your, From Morvil's mighty foot which rising with the power That Bant from Sea-mere brings, her somewhat more doth fill, Near Bishops-dale at hand, when Cover, a clear rill, Next cometh into Your, whereas that lusty chase, For her loved Cover's sake, doth lovingly embrace Your as she yields along, amongst the parks and groves, In Middleham's amorous eye, as wand'ringly she roves." No epithet could possibly be selected more applicable to the Yore than "wandering." (2)
(1) I have invariably adopted, "Yore," as the most correct orthography, but it is proper to observe, that much controversy has arisen at different periods, on this subject. In October, 1847, a writer in the "Leeds Mercury," signing himself "Clericus," maintained that the Romans named the river "Urus," as being descriptive of the stream's rapidity, especially when swollen from the west; the Latin word" Urus" signifying a beast like a bull, remarkable for tts swiftness, and therefore applicable to such a river. He proceeds-" this word has been written in three different forms: "Urus," the Roman name; the Saxon form of this would be written with the initial "J," rather from the sound than from the orthography. The latter form is seen in "Jervaulx," and still more evidently in the inscriptions on tombs in that Abbey, as "Jorevallis." The termination "vallis" has been changed into the Norman form "vaulx," or "vaux." When again, we have the third form "Yore," as in "York," we have merely another mode of spelling "Jore," for the German pronunciation of "Jore" would be "Yore." When, therefore, the name " Ure" is given to the river, it is the Roman name; and when it is called "Yore," it is actually the more modern manner of spelling the Saxon form of the first name. Roman, "Urus;" Saxon, "Jore;" modern, "Yore." W. Hylton Longstaffe, Esq., says he adopts "Eure" for many reasons. Ure is inelegant, and does not show how it was that (by a similar conversion to that which so frequently converted the family name of Eure into Ever, both in spelling and pronunciation) this noble river gave the name to Eboracum, Everwik or York, as well as to Isurium or Aldborough. Yore is neither ancient nor modern, it wants the e of the ancient varieties, and is not used by the Tudor topographers. Besides it needs the explanation that the