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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.

Warkworth Hermitage

The Hermitage

By Anonymous

  • Warkworth Hermitage is situated about half a mile above Warkworth Castle, on the brink of the Coquet River. This venerable retreat is probably the best preserved and the most entire work of its kind now remaining in the kingdom. It contains three apartments, all of them formed by excavation of the solid rock, and impends over the river clothed in a rich mantle of ancient trees, remains of the venerable woods which in olden times sheltered the inmates of this romantic solitude.

  • THE LONELY cavern, like a chapel carved,

    Is situate amid the lonely hills;

    The scutcheon, cross, and altar hewn in rock,

    And by the altar is a cenotaph.

    In marble there a lovely lady lies;

    An angel, with a welcome at her side,

    A welcome to the soul he beareth heaven.

    And near a warrior stands,—the desolate!

    The wide earth only holds one tomb for him.

    Such must have been his history, who first

    Cut this sad hermitage within the rock:

    Some spirit-broken and world-weary man,

    Whose love was in the grave, whose hope in heaven.

    Yet a fine nature must have been his own;

    A sense of beauty, and a strong delight

    In the brave seeming of the visible world,

    Whose loveliness is like a sympathy.

    Winds the fair river through the vale below,

    With sunshine on its waters. Green the woods

    Hang the far summits with their changeful shade.

    In the soft summer fields are many flowers,

    Which breathe at evening on the scented wind.

    Still the wild cherry-trees are growing round,

    Which first he planted;—yet he loved the world,—

    The bright, the beautiful, the glorious world,—

    But loved it as those love who love on earth,

    Only the hope that looketh up to heaven.