Semerwater – deep asleep in the memory


Seeing the afternoon sun glistening on Semerwater the other day I was reminded of my schooldays (yes, I can remember THAT far back). Either we had a teacher who was very fond of the Dales, or it was part of the GCE (yes, THAT long ago when we had GCEs) syllabus – whatever,  we had to learn and discuss the ballad of Semerwater… the one that goes:
Deep asleep, deep asleep,
Deep asleep it lies,
The still lake of Semerwater
Under the still skies….
There are another half dozen verses written by Sir William Watson, a poet from Burley in Wharfedale, which I tried to recall while taking in the lovely scene. There aren’t many places in the Yorkshire Dales where you can listen to water lapping against a shoreline in rhythmic fashion so this was a feast for the eyes and ears. However, my memory wasn’t up to the task of reciting the full poem and I had to Google the rest back at home.

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