With thanks to a recent and very welcome guest (Rachel), we have belatedly discovered that the great poet (and poet laureate 1843-50) William Wordsworth wrote a fabulous poem about Kilchurn Castle which is reproduced below:
ADDRESS TO KILCHURN CASTLE, UPON LOCH AWE
CHILD of loud-throated War! the mountain Stream Roars in thy hearing; but thy hour of rest Is come, and thou art silent in thy age; Save when the wind sweeps by and sounds are caught Ambiguous, neither wholly thine nor theirs. Oh! there is life that breathes not; Powers there are That touch each other to the quick in modes Which the gross world no sense hath to perceive, No soul to dream of. What art Thou, from care Cast off--abandoned by thy rugged Sire, 10 Nor by soft Peace adopted; though, in place And in dimension, such that thou might'st seem But a mere footstool to yon sovereign Lord, Huge Cruachan, (a thing that meaner hills Might crush, nor know that it had suffered harm;) Yet he, not loth, in favour of thy claims To reverence, suspends his own; submitting All that the God of Nature hath conferred, All that he holds in common with the stars, To the memorial majesty of Time 20 Impersonated in thy calm decay! Take, then, thy seat, Vicegerent unreproved! Now, while a farewell gleam of evening light Is fondly lingering on thy shattered front, Do thou, in turn, be paramount; and rule Over the pomp and beauty of a scene Whose mountains, torrents, lake, and woods, unite To pay thee homage; and with these are joined, In willing admiration and respect, Two Hearts, which in thy presence might be called 30 Youthful as Spring.--Shade of departed Power, Skeleton of unfleshed humanity, The chronicle were welcome that should call Into the compass of distinct regard The toils and struggles of thy infant years! Yon foaming flood seems motionless as ice; Its dizzy turbulence eludes the eye, Frozen by distance; so, majestic Pile, To the perception of this Age, appear Thy fierce beginnings, softened and subdued 40 And quieted in character--the strife, The pride, the fury uncontrollable, Lost on the aerial heights of the Crusades!
In August and September 1803 Wordsworth, his sister Dorothy and their mutual friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge (he of Rime of the Ancient Mariner fame) embarked on their own grand tour of Scotland – mirroring the lexicographer and essayist Samuel Johnson’s A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland, conducted some 27 years earlier. Whilst William Wordsworth wrote the above poem, Dorothy kept an illuminating journal which was published 25 years after her death. It is worth reading the entries from 31st August 1803 and 1st September 1803 for a little historical perspective on the experiences of being a tourist in the area!