John Wilson was a renowned Chorley historian, and amongst many other works, he wrote a poem called Dean Wood. This is mentioned in Rawlinson’s 1969 “About Rivington” book, and as we know that Wilson was writing books of his own at the turn of the previous century, this work could be fairly assumed to be over 100 years old.
Of all the sylvan scenes that lie around
The town of Chorley, none more fair are found
Than bonnie Dean Wood….
Long may she live to greet the stranger there
Who comes to feast his eyes on her domain so fair.
What a lovely place it is!
Fern-clad bank and precipice
Meet the eye at every turn;
Smiling here and there most stern,
Cool green depth and tree-crowned height
Fitting haunt of elf and sprite;
Rippling brook and rustic bridge;
Moss grown path and rocky ridge;
Stout limbed oak and towering ash,
Seen to court the levin-flash,
Every forest tree is seen,
Every shade of living green;
Mark yon rock, abrupt and steep,
Down whose face two streamlets leap
How dissimilar their hue;
This of purest crystal view,
That a tawny coloured tide,
Stains the rock o’er which they glide,
Deep into the pool below
You can trace its wonderous flow.
It is indeed a very fairy realm
Whose beauty doth description o’erwhelm,
One fancies some fierce elf will bar his way,
Or merry Puck will lead his steps astray;
Here may Titania and Oberon
Have held their revels in days agone,
But mortals have usurped the fairie’s seat,
No more they dance around with tireless feet
By yonder fountain, in the moonbeams dim,
Or frighten benighted men in guise of goblins grim,
But though the fairies have long left the spot,
Lancashire witches, well I ween, have not.
As Moore has sung : The best scenes improve
When we enjoy them with the friends we love.