Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Blea Tarn: Wordsworth was ’ere

Decamped to Great Langdale and a brief recuperative stroll upon Lingmoor Fell, which offers this delightful panorama of Blea Tarn. This charming, shallow tarn rests snugly in the col between the two Langdales. In the distance, the commanding 762-metre high peak of Wetherlam stands tall.

Notably, this tarn has stirred the creativity of some literary figures. Wordsworth chose this locale as the setting for his poem “The Excursion,” in which he observed a funeral procession making its way toward Little Langdale. For us, the procession consisted of motorcycles, their thunderous passage over the col proving more intrusive than the occasional deafening roar of RAF fighter jets conducting manoeuvres up the valley.

Blea Tarn also holds significance in the literary journey of W. H. Auden. In 1922, he penned his first-ever poem about this very place, concluding with the lines: “… and in the quiet/Oblivion of the water, let them stay.”

Regrettably, the original manuscript has been lost to the annals of time, and Auden himself later remarked, “As for who or what ‘they‘ were, I must confess I cannot, for the life of me, recall.”



, ,




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *