John Betjeman

Lake District

“On their way back they found the girls at Easedale,
sitting beside the cottage where they sell ginger beer in
August.” (Peer and Heiress, Walter Besant.) 

I pass the cruet and I see the lake
   Running with light, beyond the garden pine,
   That lake whose waters make me dream her mine.
Up to the top board mounting for my sake,
For me she breathes, for me each soft intake,
   For me the plunge, the lake and limbs combine.
   I pledge her in non-alcoholic wine
And give the H.P. Sauce another shake.

Spirit of Grasmere, bells of Ambleside,
   Sing you and ring you, water bells, for me;
       You water-colour waterfalls may froth.
Long hiking holidays will yet provide
   Long stony lanes and back at six to tea
       And Heinz’s ketchup on the tablecloth.