Bleak season was it, turbulent and bleak,
When hitherward we journeyed, side by side,
Through burst of sunshine and through flying showers,
Paced the long vales, how long they were, and yet
How fast that length of way was left behind,
Wensley's rich vale and Sedbergh's naked heights.
The frosty wind, as if to make amends
For its keen breath, was aiding to our steps,
And drove us onward like two ships at sea;
Or, like two birds, companions in mid-air,
Parted and reunited by the blast.
Stern was the face of nature; we rejoiced
In that stern countenance; for our souls thence drew
A feeling of their strength. The naked trees,
The icy brooks, as on we passed, appeared
To question us, "Whence come ye? To what end?"