TITLE Semer water (Sold)

David Stead
Collage, acrylic, pencil
35cms x 24cms

Semer water is the only lake in the Yorkshire Dales; here on a bitterly cold winter’s evening.

Semerwater is the setting for a well-known legend within Yorkshire. According to the tale, long ago the spot was occupied by a prosperous city. One night an old man (or in some versions, an angel in disguise) came down to the city, in search of food and drink. He went from door to door, and at each house he was turned away. Finally, he came to the hovel of a poor couple just outside the town; the couple took him in and treated him with great kindness.

When the stranger was about to leave, he turned to face the town and uttered the curse:

“Semerwater rise, and Semerwater sink, And swallow the town all save this house, Where they gave me food and drink.”

And as soon as this was said, the waters of the lake rose up and flooded the city, drowning the proud inhabitants and leaving only the hovel of the poor couple on the hillside unscathed.