Sonnets at the English Lakes (London, 1881)

Published three years after Hardwicke took up residence in the Lake District at Wray on the western side of Windermere; this volume is the first of the numerous books that he published on the Lake District.  The book is dedicated to Charles Tennyson Turner.

The book did not gain the attention of many reviewers.  One of the few reviews noted that the sonnets ‘are modest and graceful echoes of the large utterance of Wordsworth.  Higher praise than this they do not ask for, but it is well deserved’. In ‘Nature’s Gospel’, Hardwicke espouses his conservation views, a number of years before he became widely acknowledged as the ‘Defender of the Lakes’.  The poem is worth quoting in full:

 When, weary of the stifling city’s hum,
  I seek the quiet of the hills and dales,
I do rejoice to know the man that ails
In heart, or hope, or head, may hither come,
And here may learn how Nature, seeming dumb,
Can soothe where life’s tumultuous current fails—
Here find the still communion that avails
To fire imagination almost numb.
For not alone the Wanderer may read
An ‘elder Bible’s’ unexhausted page,
Or, scarce escaped from out the wars of creed,
May find a Gospel ‘uncorrupt of age,’
But here he feels his spirit’s greater need—
Wide Liberty, Man’s ancient heritage.   

 In his ‘Valedictory’ sonnet, Hardwicke addresses the Lake District itself and sends the book and its poems out to the wider world with the hope that its beauty will shine through to those who read it:

Thy face it was, dear land of lakes and rills,
Chameleon waters, ever-changing sky,
Of bright tarn lustres burning in the hills,
And mountains hung with streamlet jewelry,
That bid me hope thy kindly light would shine,
And flash the life to these poor gems of mine.



Introductory (p. xv)

In Memoriam: Charles Tennyson Turner (p. 1)

The Anniversary of Charles Tennyson Turner’s Death, 25th April (p. 2)

Nature’s Gospel (p. 3)

Windermere—Autumn (p. 4)

The Sycamore Tree, Ambleside (p. 5)

Wray Castle (p. 6)

The Haunted Hall at Calgarth (p. 7)

Cloud-Rest on Fairfield (p. 8)

Wordsworth’s Seat, Rydal (p. 9)

From Fox How (p. 10)

Loughrigg Tarn (p. 11)

Water-Lilies in Pullwyke Bay (p. 12)

Il Bel and High Street (p. 13)

The Larch (p. 14)

First Frost (p. 15)

Grasmere (p. 16)

Stock Ghyll Barred (p. 17)

Dunmail Raise (p. 18)

Song and Life, Rydal (p. 19)

Winter Sunrise on the Fells (p. 20)

The Mourner and the Brathay (p. 21)

The Willow-Warbler (p. 22)

The Geologist’s Funeral. In Memoriam J. Clifton Ward, Buried at Keswick, April 20th, 1880 (p. 23)

Blelham Tarn (p. 24)

The Grasmere Sports (p. 25)

The Thrush in Spring (p. 26)

The Lake Mirror: In Autumn (p. 27)

The Crier of Claife (p. 28)

At Wray Cottage (p. 29)

Kendal Castle: Or the Power of Tradition (p. 30)

The Lion and the Lamb: Or Helm Crag after a Storm (p. 31)

The Harvest Thanksgiving (p. 32)

Early Snow (p. 33)

The Langdale Pikes (p. 34)

On Seeing a Telegraph Wire and Pillar-Post below Wordsworth’s House (p. 35)

The Squirrel (p. 36)

Latterbarrow (p. 37)

Nab Cottage: A Memory of Hartley Coleridge (p. 38)

Stock Ghyll (p. 39)

A Return to the Lakes (p. 40)

The Tarn in Autumn (p. 41)

Low-Wood at Evening (p. 42)

Dovenest (p. 43)

East Wind in Spring (p. 44)

Death the Befriender (p. 45)

Sunset and the Westmorland Emigrant (p. 46)

The Lake Steamer in Autumn (p. 47)

Grasmere Revisited (p. 48)

Brathay Churchyard (p. 49)

The Sabbath Bell (p. 50)

A Tree Planted by William Wordsworth at Wray Castle (p. 51)

Pigeon Shooting at Ambleside (p. 52)

Upper Falls, Rydal (p. 53)

Nature’s Evensong (p. 54)

The Wagtail (p. 55)

The Miser’s Funeral (p. 56)

Talk, not Work (p. 57)

Char Fishers (p. 58)

Clear Weather in March (p. 59)

The Winter Steamboat (p. 60)

The Boulder on Latterbarrow (p. 61)

Wordsworth’s Tomb (p. 62)

Moonrise Mistaken for the Northern Lights (p. 63)

Lent-Lilies (p. 64)

The Dying Straggler (p. 65)

Nature’s Music Dishonoured (p. 66)

The Twin Spruces at Rydal (p. 67)

Resurrection, Or Lake Mists on a Winter Morn (p. 68)

The Children Gone (p. 69)

Rain After Drought (p. 70)

Early Death (p. 71)

The Churchyard (p. 72)

The Great Tit (p. 73)

War Notes in Rydal Vale (p. 74)

Up Nab Scar, from Rydal Mount (p. 75)

The White Cross at Windermere (p. 76)

A Belfry Season on Christmas Morn (p. 77)

Holiday Makers on Good Friday (p. 78)

Easter Eve (p. 79)

The Sycamore at High Close (p. 80)

The Snowdrops by Esthwaite Lake (p. 81)

Hawkshead Church (p. 82)

An April Snowstorm (p. 83)

Yellow Poppies at Wray Castle (p. 84)

The Grave of “Old Rose.” (p. 85)

The Red-Start (p. 86)

In Memoriam F.A.R. (p. 87)

Croft (p. 88)

The Crusader’s Tomb, Furness Abbey (p. 89)

Stock Ghyll after a Thaw (p. 90)

Hawkshead from Furness Fells (p. 91)

Moon-Rise over Wansfell (p. 92)

Spring Days (p. 93)

The Laurels at Storrs (p. 94)

The River Message (p. 95)

The Sybil’s Grotto: Or Rhododendrons at Croft (p. 96)

Wild Flowers on Loughrigg (p. 97)

Songs in Silence (p. 98)

Yewdale Crags (p. 99)

At Yewdale Farm (p. 100)

Poplars at the Friends’ Meeting House, Colthouse (p. 101)

Bowfell (p. 102)

The Cave at White Moss (p. 103)

Stone Arthur (p. 104)

Helvellyn (p. 105)

The Leven, and Rhododendrons at Lake Side (p. 106)

July at the Lakes (p. 107)

August at the Lakes (p. 108)

The Northern Nightingale (p. 109)

The Tower of Song (p. 110)

Furness Abbey (p. 111)

At King Henry’s Chapel, Muncaster (p. 112)

The Runic Cross in Gosforth Churchyard (p. 113)

Eskmeals (p. 114)

The Old Wreck at Seascale (p. 115)

The Tower on the Hoad, Ulverston (p. 116)

The Cottage Window at Sunset (p. 117)

The Valley of the Lune (p. 118)

Home (p. 119)

Brathay Music (p. 120)

Valedictory (p. 121)