Samuel Taylor Coleridge

.
.
    Biographical information

  1. A Soliloquy Of The Full Moon, She Being In A Mad Passion
  2. A Tombless Epitaph
  3. About The Nightingale
  4. As Some Vast Tropic Tree, Itself A Wood (Fragment)
  5. Brockley Coomb
  6. Christabel
  7. Cologne
  8. Come, Come Thou Bleak December Wind (Fragment)
  9. Constancy To An Ideal Object
  10. Dejection: An Ode
  11. Desire
  12. Duty Surviving Self-Love
  13. Epigram
  14. Epitaph
  15. Fears In Solitude
  16. Fragment
  17. France: An Ode
  18. From 'Religious Musings'
  19. Frost At Midnight
  20. Glycine's Song
  21. Hexameters
  22. Human Life
  23. Hymn Before Sun-Rise, In The Vale Of Chamouni
  24. I Know 'Tis But A Dream, Yet Feel More Anguish (Fragment)
  25. Inscription For A Fountain On A Heath
  26. Kubla Khan
  27. Life
  28. Limbo
  29. Lines
  30. Love
  31. Love's Apparition And Evanishment: An Allegoric Romance
  32. Metrical Feet
  33. On A Ruined House In A Romantic Country
  34. On Donne's Poetry
  35. Phantom
  36. Psyche
  37. Reason
  38. Recollections Of Love
  39. Reflections On Having Left A Place Of Retirement
  40. Something Childish, But Very Natural
  41. Song
  42. The Aeolian Harp
  43. The Blossing Of The Solitary Date-Tree
  44. The Dungeon
  45. The Exchange
  46. The Faded Flower
  47. The Garden Of Boccaccio
  48. The Good, Great Man
  49. The Improvisatore
  50. The Knight's Tomb
  51. The Moon, How Definite Its Orb!
  52. The Netherlands (Fragment)
  53. The Nightingale
  54. The Pains Of Sleep
  55. The Poet In His Lone Yet Genial Hour
  56. The Presence Of Love
  57. The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
  58. The Three Sorts Of Friends (Fragment)
  59. This Lime-Tree Bower, My Prison
  60. Time, Real And Imaginary
  61. To A Primrose
  62. To A Young Ass
  63. To Asra
  64. To Nature
  65. To The Nightingale
  66. To The Rev. George Coleridge
  67. To The River Otter
  68. To William Wordsworth
  69. What Is Life?
  70. When Hope But Made Tranquillity Be Felt (Fragment)
  71. Where Is The grave Of Sir Arthur O'Kellyn?
  72. Whom Should I Choose For My Judge? (Fragment)
  73. Work Without Hope
  74. Youth And Age
  75. Zapolya




    Biographical information

      Name: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
      Place and date of birth: Ottery St. Mary, Devon (England); October 21, 1772
      Place and date of death: Highgate (England); July 25, 1834 (aged 61)

    Up

      A Soliloquy Of The Full Moon, She Being In A Mad Passion

        Now as Heaven is my Lot, they're the Pests of the Nation!
        Wherever they can come
        With clankum and blankum
        'Tis all Botheration, & Hell & Damnation,
        With fun, jeering
        Conjuring
        Sky-staring,
        Loungering,
        And still to the tune of Transmogrification--
        Those muttering
        Spluttering
        Ventriloquogusty
        Poets
        With no Hats
        Or Hats that are rusty.
        They're my Torment and Curse
        And harass me worse
        And bait me and bay me, far sorer I vow
        Than the Screech of the Owl
        Or the witch-wolf's long howl,
        Or sheep-killing Butcher-dog's inward Bow wow
        For me they all spite--an unfortunate Wight.
        And the very first moment that I came to Light
        A Rascal call'd Voss the more to his scandal,
        Turn'd me into a sickle with never a handle.
        A Night or two after a worse Rogue there came,
        The head of the Gang, one Wordsworth by name--
        `Ho! What's in the wind?' 'Tis the voice of a Wizzard!
        I saw him look at me most terribly blue !
        He was hunting for witch-rhymes from great A to Izzard,
        And soon as he'd found them made no more ado
        But chang'd me at once to a little Canoe.
        From this strange Enchantment uncharm'd by degrees
        I began to take courage & hop'd for some Ease,
        When one Coleridge, a Raff of the self-same Banditti
        Past by--& intending no doubt to be witty,
        Because I'd th' ill-fortune his taste to displease,
        He turn'd up his nose,
        And in pitiful Prose
        Made me into the half of a small Cheshire Cheese.
        Well, a night or two past--it was wind, rain & hail--
        And I ventur'd abroad in a thick Cloak & veil--
        But the very first Evening he saw me again
        The last mentioned Ruffian popp'd out of his Den--
        I was resting a moment on the bare edge of Naddle
        I fancy the sight of me turn'd his Brains addle--
        For what was I now?
        A complete Barley-mow
        And when I climb'd higher he made a long leg,
        And chang'd me at once to an Ostrich's Egg--
        But now Heaven be praised in contempt of the Loon,
        I am I myself I, the jolly full Moon.
        Yet my heart is still fluttering--
        For I heard the Rogue muttering--
        He was hulking and skulking at the skirt of a Wood
        When lightly & brightly on tip-toe I stood
        On the long level Line of a motionless Cloud
        And ho! what a Skittle-ground! quoth he aloud
        And wish'd from his heart nine Nine-pins to see
        In brightness & size just proportion'd to me.
        So I fear'd from my soul,
        That he'd make me a Bowl,
        But in spite of his spite
        This was more than his might
        And still Heaven be prais'd! in contempt of the Loon
        I am I myself I, the jolly full Moon.

      Up

      A Tombless Epitaph

        'Tis true, Idoloclastes Satyrane !
        (So call him, for so mingling blame with praise,
        And smiles with anxious looks, his earliest friends,
        Masking his birth-name, wont to character
        His wild-wood fancy and impetuous zeal,)
        'Tis true that, passionate for ancient truths,
        And honouring with religious love the Great
        Of elder times, he hated to excess,
        With an unquiet and intolerant scorn,
        The hollow Puppets of an hollow Age,
        Ever idolatrous, and changing ever
        Its worthless Idols ! Learning, Power, and Time,
        (Too much of all) thus wasting in vain war
        Of fervid colloquy. Sickness, 'tis true,
        Whole years of weary days, besieged him close,
        Even to the gates and inlets of his life !
        But it is true, no less, that strenuous, firm,
        And with a natural gladness, he maintained
        The citadel unconquered, and in joy
        Was strong to follow the delightful Muse.
        For not a hidden path, that to the shades
        Of the beloved Parnassian forest leads,
        Lurked undiscovered by him ; not a rill
        There issues from the fount of Hippocrene,
        But he had traced it upward to its source,
        Through open glade, dark glen, and secret dell,
        Knew the gay wild flowers on its banks, and culled
        Its med'cinable herbs. Yea, oft alone,
        Piercing the long-neglected holy cave,
        The haunt obscure of old Philosophy,
        He bade with lifted torch its starry walls
        Sparkle, as erst they sparkled to the flame
        Of odorous lamps tended by Saint and Sage.
        O framed for calmer times and nobler hearts !
        O studious Poet, eloquent for truth !
        Philosopher ! contemning wealth and death,
        Yet docile, childlike, full of Life and Love !
        Here, rather than on monumental stone,
        This record of thy worth thy Friend inscribes,
        Thoughtful, with quiet tears upon his cheek.

      Up

      About The Nightingale

        In stale blank verse a subject stale
        I send per post my Nightingale;
        And like an honest bard, dear Wordsworth,
        You'll tell me what you think, my Bird's worth.
        My own opinion's briefly this--
        His bill he opens not amiss;
        And when he has sung a stave or so,
        His breast, & some small space below,
        So throbs & swells, that you might swear
        No vulgar music's working there.
        So far, so good; but then, 'od rot him!
        There's something falls off at his bottom.
        Yet, sure, no wonder it should breed,
        That my Bird's Tail's a tail indeed
        And makes it's own inglorious harmony
        Æolio crepitû, non carmine.

      Up

      As Some Vast Tropic Tree, Itself A Wood (Fragment)

        As some vast Tropic tree, itself a wood,
        That crests its Head with clouds, beneath the flood
        Feeds its deep roots, and with the bulging flank
        Of its wide base controls the fronting bank,
        (By the slant current's pressure scoop'd away
        The fronting bank becomes a foam-piled bay)
        High in the Fork the uncouth Idol knits
        His channel'd Brows; low murmurs stir by fits
        And dark below the horrid Faquir sits;
        An Horror from its broad Head's branchy wreath
        Broods o'er the rude Idolatry beneath--

      Up

      Brockley Coomb

        With many a pause and oft reverted eye
        I climb the Coomb's ascent: sweet songsters near
        Warble in shade their wild-wood melody:
        Far off the unvarying Cuckoo soothes my ear.
        Up scour the startling stragglers of the flock
        That on green plots o'er precipices browse:
        From the deep fissures of the naked rock
        The Yew-tree bursts! Beneath its dark green boughs
        ('Mid which the May-thorn blends its blossoms white)
        Where broad smooth stones jut out in mossy seats,
        I rest:—and now have gained the topmost site.
        Ah! what a luxury of landscape meets
        My gaze! Proud towers, and Cots more dear to me,
        Elm-shadowed Fields, and prospect-bounding Sea.
        Deep sighs my lonely heart: I drop the tear:
        Enchanting spot! O were my Sara here.

      Up

      Christabel

        PART I
        'Tis the middle of night by the castle clock
        And the owls have awakened the crowing cock;
        Tu-whit!- Tu-whoo!
        And hark, again! the crowing cock,
        How drowsily it crew.
        Sir Leoline, the Baron rich,
        Hath a toothless mastiff, which
        From her kennel beneath the rock
        Maketh answer to the clock,
        Four for the quarters, and twelve for the hour;
        Ever and aye, by shine and shower,
        Sixteen short howls, not over loud;
        Some say, she sees my lady's shroud.
        Is the night chilly and dark?
        The night is chilly, but not dark.
        The thin gray cloud is spread on high,
        It covers but not hides the sky.
        The moon is behind, and at the full;
        And yet she looks both small and dull.
        The night is chill, the cloud is gray:
        'T is a month before the month of May,
        And the Spring comes slowly up this way.
        The lovely lady, Christabel,
        Whom her father loves so well,
        What makes her in the wood so late,
        A furlong from the castle gate?
        She had dreams all yesternight
        Of her own betrothed knight;
        And she in the midnight wood will pray
        For the weal of her lover that's far away.
        She stole along, she nothing spoke,
        The sighs she heaved were soft and low,
        And naught was green upon the oak,
        But moss and rarest mistletoe:
        She kneels beneath the huge oak tree,
        And in silence prayeth she.
        The lady sprang up suddenly,
        The lovely lady, Christabel!
        It moaned as near, as near can be,
        But what it is she cannot tell.-
        On the other side it seems to be,
        Of the huge, broad-breasted, old oak tree.
        The night is chill; the forest bare;
        Is it the wind that moaneth bleak?
        There is not wind enough in the air
        To move away the ringlet curl
        From the lovely lady's cheek-
        There is not wind enough to twirl
        The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
        That dances as often as dance it can,
        Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
        On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.
        Hush, beating heart of Christabel!
        Jesu, Maria, shield her well!
        She folded her arms beneath her cloak,
        And stole to the other side of the oak.
        What sees she there?
        There she sees a damsel bright,
        Dressed in a silken robe of white,
        That shadowy in the moonlight shone:
        The neck that made that white robe wan,
        Her stately neck, and arms were bare;
        Her blue-veined feet unsandaled were;
        And wildly glittered here and there
        The gems entangled in her hair.
        I guess, 't was frightful there to see
        A lady so richly clad as she-
        Beautiful exceedingly!
        'Mary mother, save me now!'
        Said Christabel, 'and who art thou?'
        The lady strange made answer meet,
        And her voice was faint and sweet:-
        'Have pity on my sore distress,
        I scarce can speak for weariness:
        Stretch forth thy hand, and have no fear!'
        Said Christabel, 'How camest thou here?'
        And the lady, whose voice was faint and sweet,
        Did thus pursue her answer meet:-
        'My sire is of a noble line,
        And my name is Geraldine:
        Five warriors seized me yestermorn,
        Me, even me, a maid forlorn:
        They choked my cries with force and fright,
        And tied me on a palfrey white.
        The palfrey was as fleet as wind,
        And they rode furiously behind.
        They spurred amain, their steeds were white:
        And once we crossed the shade of night.
        As sure as Heaven shall rescue me,
        I have no thought what men they be;
        Nor do I know how long it is
        (For I have lain entranced, I wis)
        Since one, the tallest of the five,
        Took me from the palfrey's back,
        A weary woman, scarce alive.
        Some muttered words his comrades spoke:
        He placed me underneath this oak;
        He swore they would return with haste;
        Whither they went I cannot tell-
        I thought I heard, some minutes past,
        Sounds as of a castle bell.
        Stretch forth thy hand,' thus ended she,
        'And help a wretched maid to flee.'
        Then Christabel stretched forth her hand,
        And comforted fair Geraldine:
        'O well, bright dame, may you command
        The service of Sir Leoline;
        And gladly our stout chivalry
        Will he send forth, and friends withal,
        To guide and guard you safe and free
        Home to your noble father's hall.'
        She rose: and forth with steps they passed
        That strove to be, and were not, fast.
        Her gracious stars the lady blest,
        And thus spake on sweet Christabel:
        'All our household are at rest,
        The hall is silent as the cell;
        Sir Leoline is weak in health,
        And may not well awakened be,
        But we will move as if in stealth;
        And I beseech your courtesy,
        This night, to share your couch with me.'
        They crossed the moat, and Christabel
        Took the key that fitted well;
        A little door she opened straight,
        All in the middle of the gate;
        The gate that was ironed within and without,
        Where an army in battle array had marched out.
        The lady sank, belike through pain,
        And Christabel with might and main
        Lifted her up, a weary weight,
        Over the threshold of the gate:
        Then the lady rose again,
        And moved, as she were not in pain.
        So, free from danger, free from fear,
        They crossed the court: right glad they were.
        And Christabel devoutly cried
        To the Lady by her side;
        'Praise we the Virgin all divine,
        Who hath rescued thee from thy distress!'
        'Alas, alas!' said Geraldine,
        'I cannot speak for weariness.'
        So, free from danger, free from fear,
        They crossed the court: right glad they were.
        Outside her kennel the mastiff old
        Lay fast asleep, in moonshine cold.
        The mastiff old did not awake,
        Yet she an angry moan did make.
        And what can ail the mastiff bitch?
        Never till now she uttered yell
        Beneath the eye of Christabel.
        Perhaps it is the owlet's scritch:
        For what can aid the mastiff bitch?
        They passed the hall, that echoes still,
        Pass as lightly as you will.
        The brands were flat, the brands were dying,
        Amid their own white ashes lying;
        But when the lady passed, there came
        A tongue of light, a fit of flame;
        And Christabel saw the lady's eye,
        And nothing else saw she thereby,
        Save the boss of the shield of Sir Leoline tall,
        Which hung in a murky old niche in the wall.
        'O softly tread,' said Christabel,
        'My father seldom sleepeth well.'
        Sweet Christabel her feet doth bare,
        And, jealous of the listening air,
        They steal their way from stair to stair,
        Now in glimmer, and now in gloom,
        And now they pass the Baron's room,
        As still as death, with stifled breath!
        And now have reached her chamber door;
        And now doth Geraldine press down
        The rushes of the chamber floor.
        The moon shines dim in the open air,
        And not a moonbeam enters here.
        But they without its light can see
        The chamber carved so curiously,
        Carved with figures strange and sweet,
        All made out of the carver's brain,
        For a lady's chamber meet:
        The lamp with twofold silver chain
        Is fastened to an angel's feet.
        The silver lamp burns dead and dim;
        But Christabel the lamp will trim.
        She trimmed the lamp, and made it bright,
        And left it swinging to and fro,
        While Geraldine, in wretched plight,
        Sank down upon the floor below.
        'O weary lady, Geraldine,
        I pray you, drink this cordial wine!
        It is a wine of virtuous powers;
        My mother made it of wild flowers.'
        'And will your mother pity me,
        Who am a maiden most forlorn?'
        Christabel answered- 'Woe is me!
        She died the hour that I was born.
        I have heard the gray-haired friar tell,
        How on her death-bed she did say,
        That she should hear the castle-bell
        Strike twelve upon my wedding-day.
        O mother dear! that thou wert here!'
        'I would,' said Geraldine, 'she were!'
        But soon, with altered voice, said she-
        'Off, wandering mother! Peak and pine!
        I have power to bid thee flee.'
        Alas! what ails poor Geraldine?
        Why stares she with unsettled eye?
        Can she the bodiless dead espy?
        And why with hollow voice cries she,
        'Off, woman, off! this hour is mine-
        Though thou her guardian spirit be,
        Off, woman. off! 't is given to me.'
        Then Christabel knelt by the lady's side,
        And raised to heaven her eyes so blue-
        'Alas!' said she, 'this ghastly ride-
        Dear lady! it hath wildered you!'
        The lady wiped her moist cold brow,
        And faintly said, ''T is over now!'
        Again the wild-flower wine she drank:
        Her fair large eyes 'gan glitter bright,
        And from the floor, whereon she sank,
        The lofty lady stood upright:
        She was most beautiful to see,
        Like a lady of a far countree.
        And thus the lofty lady spake-
        'All they, who live in the upper sky,
        Do love you, holy Christabel!
        And you love them, and for their sake,
        And for the good which me befell,
        Even I in my degree will try,
        Fair maiden, to requite you well.
        But now unrobe yourself; for I
        Must pray, ere yet in bed I lie.'
        Quoth Christabel, 'So let it be!'
        And as the lady bade, did she.
        Her gentle limbs did she undress
        And lay down in her loveliness.
        But through her brain, of weal and woe,
        So many thoughts moved to and fro,
        That vain it were her lids to close;
        So half-way from the bed she rose,
        And on her elbow did recline.
        To look at the lady Geraldine.
        Beneath the lamp the lady bowed,
        And slowly rolled her eyes around;
        Then drawing in her breath aloud,
        Like one that shuddered, she unbound
        The cincture from beneath her breast:
        Her silken robe, and inner vest,
        Dropped to her feet, and full in view,
        Behold! her bosom and half her side-
        A sight to dream of, not to tell!
        O shield her! shield sweet Christabel!
        Yet Geraldine nor speaks nor stirs:
        Ah! what a stricken look was hers!
        Deep from within she seems half-way
        To lift some weight with sick assay,
        And eyes the maid and seeks delay;
        Then suddenly, as one defied,
        Collects herself in scorn and pride,
        And lay down by the maiden's side!-
        And in her arms the maid she took,
        Ah, well-a-day!
        And with low voice and doleful look
        These words did say:
        'In the touch of this bosom there worketh a spell,
        Which is lord of thy utterance, Christabel!
        Thou knowest to-night, and wilt know to-morrow,
        This mark of my shame, this seal of my sorrow;
        But vainly thou warrest,
        For this is alone in
        Thy power to declare,
        That in the dim forest
        Thou heard'st a low moaning,
        And found'st a bright lady, surpassingly fair:
        And didst bring her home with thee, in love and in charity,
        To shield her and shelter her from the damp air.'
        It was a lovely sight to see
        The lady Christabel, when she
        Was praying at the old oak tree.
        Amid the jagged shadows
        Of mossy leafless boughs,
        Kneeling in the moonlight,
        To make her gentle vows;
        Her slender palms together prest,
        Heaving sometimes on her breast;
        Her face resigned to bliss or bale-
        Her face, oh, call it fair not pale,
        And both blue eyes more bright than clear.
        Each about to have a tear.
        With open eyes (ah, woe is me!)
        Asleep, and dreaming fearfully,
        Fearfully dreaming, yet, I wis,
        Dreaming that alone, which is-
        O sorrow and shame! Can this be she,
        The lady, who knelt at the old oak tree?
        And lo! the worker of these harms,
        That holds the maiden in her arms,
        Seems to slumber still and mild,
        As a mother with her child.
        A star hath set, a star hath risen,
        O Geraldine! since arms of thine
        Have been the lovely lady's prison.
        O Geraldine! one hour was thine-
        Thou'st had thy will! By tarn and rill,
        The night-birds all that hour were still.
        But now they are jubilant anew,
        From cliff and tower, tu-whoo! tu-whoo!
        Tu-whoo! tu-whoo! from wood and fell!
        And see! the lady Christabel
        Gathers herself from out her trance;
        Her limbs relax, her countenance
        Grows sad and soft; the smooth thin lids
        Close o'er her eyes; and tears she sheds-
        Large tears that leave the lashes bright!
        And oft the while she seems to smile
        As infants at a sudden light!
        Yea, she doth smile, and she doth weep,
        Like a youthful hermitess,
        Beauteous in a wilderness,
        Who, praying always, prays in sleep.
        And, if she move unquietly,
        Perchance, 't is but the blood so free
        Comes back and tingles in her feet.
        No doubt, she hath a vision sweet.
        What if her guardian spirit 't were,
        What if she knew her mother near?
        But this she knows, in joys and woes,
        That saints will aid if men will call:
        For the blue sky bends over all.
        PART II
        Each matin bell, the Baron saith,
        Knells us back to a world of death.
        These words Sir Leoline first said,
        When he rose and found his lady dead:
        These words Sir Leoline will say
        Many a morn to his dying day!
        And hence the custom and law began
        That still at dawn the sacristan,
        Who duly pulls the heavy bell,
        Five and forty beads must tell
        Between each stroke- a warning knell,
        Which not a soul can choose but hear
        From Bratha Head to Wyndermere.
        Saith Bracy the bard, 'So let it knell!
        And let the drowsy sacristan
        Still count as slowly as he can!'
        There is no lack of such, I ween,
        As well fill up the space between.
        In Langdale Pike and Witch's Lair,
        And Dungeon-ghyll so foully rent,
        With ropes of rock and bells of air
        Three sinful sextons' ghosts are pent,
        Who all give back, one after t' other,
        The death-note to their living brother;
        And oft too, by the knell offended,
        Just as their one! two! three! is ended,
        The devil mocks the doleful tale
        With a merry peal from Borrowdale.
        The air is still! through mist and cloud
        That merry peal comes ringing loud;
        And Geraldine shakes off her dread,
        And rises lightly from the bed;
        Puts on her silken vestments white,
        And tricks her hair in lovely plight,
        And nothing doubting of her spell
        Awakens the lady Christabel.
        'Sleep you, sweet lady Christabel?
        I trust that you have rested well.'
        And Christabel awoke and spied
        The same who lay down by her side-
        O rather say, the same whom she
        Raised up beneath the old oak tree!
        Nay, fairer yet! and yet more fair!
        For she belike hath drunken deep
        Of all the blessedness of sleep!
        And while she spake, her looks, her air,
        Such gentle thankfulness declare,
        That (so it seemed) her girded vests
        Grew tight beneath her heaving breasts.
        'Sure I have sinned!' said Christabel,
        'Now heaven be praised if all be well!'
        And in low faltering tones, yet sweet,
        Did she the lofty lady greet
        With such perplexity of mind
        As dreams too lively leave behind.
        So quickly she rose, and quickly arrayed
        Her maiden limbs, and having prayed
        That He, who on the cross did groan,
        Might wash away her sins unknown,
        She forthwith led fair Geraldine
        To meet her sire, Sir Leoline.
        The lovely maid and the lady tall
        Are pacing both into the hall,
        And pacing on through page and groom,
        Enter the Baron's presence-room.
        The Baron rose, and while he prest
        His gentle daughter to his breast,
        With cheerful wonder in his eyes
        The lady Geraldine espies,
        And gave such welcome to the same,
        As might beseem so bright a dame!
        But when he heard the lady's tale,
        And when she told her father's name,
        Why waxed Sir Leoline so pale,
        Murmuring o'er the name again,
        Lord Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine?
        Alas! they had been friends in youth;
        But whispering tongues can poison truth;
        And constancy lives in realms above;
        And life is thorny; and youth is vain;
        And to be wroth with one we love
        Doth work like madness in the brain.
        And thus it chanced, as I divine,
        With Roland and Sir Leoline.
        Each spake words of high disdain
        And insult to his heart's best brother:
        They parted- ne'er to meet again!
        But never either found another
        To free the hollow heart from paining-
        They stood aloof, the scars remaining,
        Like cliffs which had been rent asunder;
        A dreary sea now flows between.
        But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
        Shall wholly do away, I ween,
        The marks of that which once hath been.
        Sir Leoline, a moment's space,
        Stood gazing on the damsel's face:
        And the youthful Lord of Tryermaine
        Came back upon his heart again.
        O then the Baron forgot his age,
        His noble heart swelled high with rage;
        He swore by the wounds in Jesu's side
        He would proclaim it far and wide,
        With trump and solemn heraldry,
        That they, who thus had wronged the dame
        Were base as spotted infamy!
        'And if they dare deny the same,
        My herald shall appoint a week,
        And let the recreant traitors seek
        My tourney court- that there and then
        I may dislodge their reptile souls
        From the bodies and forms of men!'
        He spake: his eye in lightning rolls!
        For the lady was ruthlessly seized; and he kenned
        In the beautiful lady the child of his friend!
        And now the tears were on his face,
        And fondly in his arms he took
        Fair Geraldine who met the embrace,
        Prolonging it with joyous look.
        Which when she viewed, a vision fell
        Upon the soul of Christabel,
        The vision of fear, the touch and pain!
        She shrunk and shuddered, and saw again-
        (Ah, woe is me! Was it for thee,
        Thou gentle maid! such sights to see?)
        Again she saw that bosom old,
        Again she felt that bosom cold,
        And drew in her breath with a hissing sound:
        Whereat the Knight turned wildly round,
        And nothing saw, but his own sweet maid
        With eyes upraised, as one that prayed.
        The touch, the sight, had passed away,
        And in its stead that vision blest,
        Which comforted her after-rest,
        While in the lady's arms she lay,
        Had put a rapture in her breast,
        And on her lips and o'er her eyes
        Spread smiles like light!
        With new surprise,
        'What ails then my beloved child?'
        The Baron said- His daughter mild
        Made answer, 'All will yet be well!'
        I ween, she had no power to tell
        Aught else: so mighty was the spell.
        Yet he who saw this Geraldine,
        Had deemed her sure a thing divine.
        Such sorrow with such grace she blended,
        As if she feared she had offended
        Sweet Christabel, that gentle maid!
        And with such lowly tones she prayed
        She might be sent without delay
        Home to her father's mansion.
        'Nay!
        Nay, by my soul!' said Leoline.
        'Ho! Bracy the bard, the charge be thine!
        Go thou, with music sweet and loud,
        And take two steeds with trappings proud,
        And take the youth whom thou lov'st best
        To bear thy harp, and learn thy song,
        And clothe you both in solemn vest,
        And over the mountains haste along,
        Lest wandering folk, that are abroad,
        Detain you on the valley road.
        'And when he has crossed the Irthing flood,
        My merry bard! he hastes, he hastes
        Up Knorren Moor, through Halegarth Wood,
        And reaches soon that castle good
        Which stands and threatens Scotland's wastes.
        'Bard Bracy! bard Bracy! your horses are fleet,
        Ye must ride up the hall, your music so sweet,
        More loud than your horses' echoing feet!
        And loud and loud to Lord Roland call,
        Thy daughter is safe in Langdale hall!
        Thy beautiful daughter is safe and free-
        Sir Leoline greets thee thus through me.
        He bids thee come without delay
        With all thy numerous array;
        And take thy lovely daughter home:
        And he will meet thee on the way
        With all his numerous array
        White with their panting palfreys' foam:
        And, by mine honor! I will say,
        That I repent me of the day
        When I spake words of fierce disdain
        To Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine!-
        - For since that evil hour hath flown,
        Many a summer's sun hath shone;
        Yet ne'er found I a friend again
        Like Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine.'
        The lady fell, and clasped his knees,
        Her face upraised, her eyes o'erflowing;
        And Bracy replied, with faltering voice,
        His gracious hail on all bestowing;
        'Thy words, thou sire of Christabel,
        Are sweeter than my harp can tell;
        Yet might I gain a boon of thee,
        This day my journey should not be,
        So strange a dream hath come to me;
        That I had vowed with music loud
        To clear yon wood from thing unblest,
        Warned by a vision in my rest!
        For in my sleep I saw that dove,
        That gentle bird, whom thou dost love,
        And call'st by thy own daughter's name-
        Sir Leoline! I saw the same,
        Fluttering, and uttering fearful moan,
        Among the green herbs in the forest alone.
        Which when I saw and when I heard,
        I wondered what might ail the bird;
        For nothing near it could I see,
        Save the grass and herbs underneath the old tree.
        And in my dream methought I went
        To search out what might there be found;
        And what the sweet bird's trouble meant,
        That thus lay fluttering on the ground.
        I went and peered, and could descry
        No cause for her distressful cry;
        But yet for her dear lady's sake
        I stooped, methought, the dove to take,
        When lo! I saw a bright green snake
        Coiled around its wings and neck.
        Green as the herbs on which it couched,
        Close by the dove's its head it crouched;
        And with the dove it heaves and stirs,
        Swelling its neck as she swelled hers!
        I woke; it was the midnight hour,
        The clock was echoing in the tower;
        But though my slumber was gone by,
        This dream it would not pass away-
        It seems to live upon my eye!
        And thence I vowed this self-same day
        With music strong and saintly song
        To wander through the forest bare,
        Lest aught unholy loiter there.'
        Thus Bracy said: the Baron, the while,
        Half-listening heard him with a smile;
        Then turned to Lady Geraldine,
        His eyes made up of wonder and love;
        And said in courtly accents fine,
        'Sweet maid, Lord Roland's beauteous dove,
        With arms more strong than harp or song,
        Thy sire and I will crush the snake!'
        He kissed her forehead as he spake,
        And Geraldine in maiden wise
        Casting down her large bright eyes,
        With blushing cheek and courtesy fine
        She turned her from Sir Leoline;
        Softly gathering up her train,
        That o'er her right arm fell again;
        And folded her arms across her chest,
        And couched her head upon her breast,
        And looked askance at Christabel-
        Jesu, Maria, shield her well!
        A snake's small eye blinks dull and shy,
        And the lady's eyes they shrunk in her head,
        Each shrunk up to a serpent's eye,
        And with somewhat of malice, and more of dread,
        At Christabel she looked askance!-
        One moment- and the sight was fled!
        But Christabel in dizzy trance
        Stumbling on the unsteady ground
        Shuddered aloud, with a hissing sound;
        And Geraldine again turned round,
        And like a thing that sought relief,
        Full of wonder and full of grief,
        She rolled her large bright eyes divine
        Wildly on Sir Leoline.
        The maid, alas! her thoughts are gone,
        She nothing sees- no sight but one!
        The maid, devoid of guile and sin,
        I know not how, in fearful wise,
        So deeply had she drunken in
        That look, those shrunken serpent eyes,
        That all her features were resigned
        To this sole image in her mind:
        And passively did imitate
        That look of dull and treacherous hate!
        And thus she stood, in dizzy trance,
        Still picturing that look askance
        With forced unconscious sympathy
        Full before her father's view-
        As far as such a look could be
        In eyes so innocent and blue!
        And when the trance was o'er, the maid
        Paused awhile, and inly prayed:
        Then falling at the Baron's feet,
        'By my mother's soul do I entreat
        That thou this woman send away!'
        She said: and more she could not say;
        For what she knew she could not tell,
        O'er-mastered by the mighty spell.
        Why is thy cheek so wan and wild,
        Sir Leoline? Thy only child
        Lies at thy feet, thy joy, thy pride.
        So fair, so innocent, so mild;
        The same, for whom thy lady died!
        O by the pangs of her dear mother
        Think thou no evil of thy child!
        For her, and thee, and for no other,
        She prayed the moment ere she died:
        Prayed that the babe for whom she died,
        Might prove her dear lord's joy and pride!
        That prayer her deadly pangs beguiled,
        Sir Leoline!
        And wouldst thou wrong thy only child,
        Her child and thine?
        Within the Baron's heart and brain
        If thoughts, like these, had any share,
        They only swelled his rage and pain,
        And did but work confusion there.
        His heart was cleft with pain and rage,
        His cheeks they quivered, his eyes were wild,
        Dishonored thus in his old age;
        Dishonored by his only child,
        And all his hospitality
        To the insulted daughter of his friend
        By more than woman's jealousy
        Brought thus to a disgraceful end-
        He rolled his eye with stern regard
        Upon the gentle ministrel bard,
        And said in tones abrupt, austere-
        'Why, Bracy! dost thou loiter here?
        I bade thee hence!' The bard obeyed;
        And turning from his own sweet maid,
        The aged knight, Sir Leoline,
        Led forth the lady Geraldine!
        (Coleridge never finished the poem;
        this conclusion is by James Gillman,
        who cared for Coleridge during the
        latter years. He wrote the following
        based on what the poet would outline
        for his friends.)
        THE CONCLUSION TO PART II
        A little child, a limber elf,
        Singing, dancing to itself,
        A fairy thing with red round cheeks,
        That always finds, and never seeks,
        Makes such a vision to the sight
        As fills a father's eyes with light;
        And pleasures flow in so thick and fast
        Upon his heart, that he at last
        Must needs express his love's excess
        With words of unmeant bitterness.
        Perhaps 'tis pretty to force together
        Thoughts so all unlike each other;
        To mutter and mock a broken charm,
        To dally with wrong that does no harm.
        Perhaps 'tis tender too and pretty
        At each wild word to feel within
        A sweet recoil of love and pity.
        And what, if in a world of sin
        (O sorrow and shame should this be true!)
        Such giddiness of heart and brain
        Comes seldom save from rage and pain,
        So talks as it's most used to do.

      Up

      Cologne

        In Kцhln, a town of monks and bones,
        And pavements fang'd with murderous stones
        And rags, and hags, and hideous wenches ;
        I counted two and seventy stenches,
        All well defined, and several stinks !
        Ye Nymphs that reign o'er sewers and sinks,
        The river Rhine, it is well known,
        Doth wash your city of Cologne ;
        But tell me, Nymphs, what power divine
        Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine ?

      Up

      Come, Come Thou Bleak December Wind (Fragment)

        Come, come thou bleak December wind,
        And blow the dry leaves from the tree!
        Flash, like a Love-thought, thro' me, Death
        And take a Life that wearies me.

      Up

      Constancy To An Ideal Object

        Since all, that beat about in Nature's range,
        Or veer or vanish ; why should'st thou remain
        The only constant in a world of change,
        O yearning THOUGHT ! that liv'st but in the brain ?
        Call to the HOURS, that in the distance play,
        The faery people of the future day-- --
        Fond THOUGHT ! not one of all that shining swarm
        Will breathe on thee with life-enkindling breath,
        Till when, like strangers shelt'ring from a storm,
        Hope and Despair meet in the porch of Death !
        Yet still thou haunt'st me ; and though well I see,
        She is not thou, and only thou art she,
        Still, still as though some dear embodied Good,
        Some living Love before my eyes there stood
        With answering look a ready ear to lend,
        I mourn to thee and say--`Ah ! loveliest Friend !
        That this the meed of all my toils might be,
        To have a home, an English home, and thee !'
        Vain repetition ! Home and Thou are one.
        The peacefull'st cot, the moon shall shine upon,
        Lulled by the Thrush and wakened by the Lark,
        Without thee were but a becalmйd Bark,
        Whose Helmsman on an Ocean waste and wide
        Sits mute and pale his mouldering helm beside.

        And art thou nothing ? Such thou art, as when
        The woodman winding westward up the glen
        At wintry dawn, where o'er the sheep-track's maze
        The viewless snow-mist weaves a glist'ning haze,
        Sees full before him, gliding without tread,
        An image with a glory round its head ;
        The enamoured rustic worships its fair hues,
        Nor knows he makes the shadow, he pursues !

      Up

      Dejection: An Ode

        Late, late yestreen I saw the new Moon,
        With the old Moon in her arms ;
        And I fear, I fear, My Master dear !
        We shall have a deadly storm.

        Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        I

        Well ! If the Bard was weather-wise, who made
        The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence,
        This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence
        Unroused by winds, that ply a busier trade
        Than those which mould yon cloud in lazy flakes,
        Or the dull sobbing draft, that moans and rakes
        Upon the strings of this Жolian lute,
        [Image]Which better far were mute.
        For lo ! the New-moon winter-bright !
        And overspread with phantom light,
        (With swimming phantom light o'erspread
        But rimmed and circled by a silver thread)
        I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling
        The coming-on of rain and squally blast.
        And oh ! that even now the gust were swelling,
        And the slant night-shower driving loud and fast !
        Those sounds which oft have raised me, whilst they awed,
        [Image]And sent my soul abroad,
        Might now perhaps their wonted impulse give,
        Might startle this dull pain, and make it move and live !

        II

        A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear,
        A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief,
        Which finds no natural outlet, no relief,
        [Image]In word, or sigh, or tear--
        O Lady ! in this wan and heartless mood,
        To other thoughts by yonder throstle woo'd,
        All this long eve, so balmy and serene,
        Have I been gazing on the western sky,
        And its peculiar tint of yellow green :
        And still I gaze--and with how blank an eye !
        And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars,
        That give away their motion to the stars ;
        Those stars, that glide behind them or between,
        Now sparkling, now bedimmed, but always seen :
        Yon crescent Moon, as fixed as if it grew
        In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue ;
        I see them all so excellently fair,
        I see, not feel, how beautiful they are !

        III

        [Image]My genial spirits fail ;
        [Image]And what can these avail
        To lift the smothering weight from off my breast ?
        [Image]It were a vain endeavour,
        [Image]Though I should gaze for ever
        On that green light that lingers in the west :
        I may not hope from outward forms to win
        The passion and the life, whose fountains are within.

        IV

        O Lady ! we receive but what we give,
        And in our life alone does Nature live :
        Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her shroud !
        And would we aught behold, of higher worth,
        Than that inanimate cold world allowed
        To the poor loveless ever-anxious crowd,
        Ah ! from the soul itself must issue forth
        A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud
        [Image]Enveloping the Earth--
        And from the soul itself must there be sent
        A sweet and potent voice, of its own birth,
        Of all sweet sounds the life and element !

        V

        O pure of heart ! thou need'st not ask of me
        What this strong music in the soul may be !
        What, and wherein it doth exist,
        This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist,
        This beautiful and beauty-making power.
        Joy, virtuous Lady ! Joy that ne'er was given,
        Save to the pure, and in their purest hour,
        Life, and Life's effluence, cloud at once and shower,
        Joy, Lady ! is the spirit and the power,
        Which wedding Nature to us gives in dower
        A new Earth and new Heaven,
        Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud--
        Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud--
        [Image]We in ourselves rejoice !
        And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight,
        All melodies the echoes of that voice,
        All colours a suffusion from that light.

        VI

        There was a time when, though my path was rough,
        This joy within me dallied with distress,
        And all misfortunes were but as the stuff
        Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness :
        For hope grew round me, like the twining vine,
        And fruits, and foliage, not my own, seemed mine.
        But now afflictions bow me down to earth :
        Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth ;
        [Image]But oh ! each visitation
        Suspends what nature gave me at my birth,
        My shaping spirit of Imagination.
        For not to think of what I needs must feel,
        But to be still and patient, all I can ;
        And haply by abstruse research to steal
        From my own nature all the natural man--
        This was my sole resource, my only plan :
        Till that which suits a part infects the whole,
        And now is almost grown the habit of my soul.

        VII

        Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my mind,
        [Image]Reality's dark dream !
        I turn from you, and listen to the wind,
        Which long has raved unnoticed. What a scream
        Of agony by torture lengthened out
        That lute sent forth ! Thou Wind, that rav'st without,
        Bare crag, or mountain-tairn, or blasted tree,
        Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb,
        Or lonely house, long held the witches' home,
        Methinks were fitter instruments for thee,
        Mad Lutanist ! who in this month of showers,
        Of dark-brown gardens, and of peeping flowers,
        Mak'st Devils' yule, with worse than wintry song,
        The blossoms, buds, and timorous leaves among.
        Thou Actor, perfect in all tragic sounds !
        Thou mighty Poet, e'en to frenzy bold !
        [Image]What tell'st thou now about ?
        [Image]'Tis of the rushing of an host in rout,
        With groans, of trampled men, with smarting wounds--
        At once they groan with pain, and shudder with the cold !
        But hush ! there is a pause of deepest silence !
        And all that noise, as of a rushing crowd,
        With groans, and tremulous shudderings--all is over--
        It tells another tale, with sounds less deep and loud !
        [Image]A tale of less affright,
        [Image]And tempered with delight,
        As Otway's self had framed the tender lay,--
        [Image][Image]'Tis of a little child
        [Image][Image]Upon a lonesome wild,
        Not far from home, but she hath lost her way :
        And now moans low in bitter grief and fear,
        And now screams loud, and hopes to make her mother hear.

        VIII

        'Tis midnight, but small thoughts have I of sleep :
        Full seldom may my friend such vigils keep !
        Visit her, gentle Sleep ! with wings of healing,
        And may this storm be but a mountain-birth,
        May all the stars hang bright above her dwelling,
        Silent as though they watched the sleeping Earth !
        [Image]With light heart may she rise,
        [Image]Gay fancy, cheerful eyes,
        Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her voice ;
        To her may all things live, from the pole to pole,
        Their life the eddying of her living soul !
        O simple spirit, guided from above,
        Dear Lady ! friend devoutest of my choice,
        Thus may'st thou ever, evermore rejoice.

      Up

      Desire

        Where true Love burns Desire is Love's pure flame;
        It is the reflex of our earthly frame,
        That takes its meaning from the nobler part,
        And but translates the language of the heart.

      Up

      Duty Surviving Self-Love

        Unchanged within, to see all changed without,
        Is a blank lot and hard to bear, no doubt.
        Yet why at others' Wanings should'st thou fret ?
        Then only might'st thou feel a just regret,
        Hadst thou withheld thy love or hid thy light
        In selfish forethought of neglect and slight.
        O wiselier then, from feeble yearnings freed,
        While, and on whom, thou may'st--shine on ! nor heed
        Whether the object by reflected light
        Return thy radiance or absorb it quite :
        And tho' thou notest from thy safe recess
        Old Friends burn dim, like lamps in noisome air,
        Love them for what they are ; nor love them less,
        Because to thee they are not what they were.

      Up

      Epigram

        Sir, I admit your general rule,
        That every poet is a fool,
        But you yourself may serve to show it,
        That every fool is not a poet.

      Up

      Epitaph

        Stop, Christian passer-by : Stop, child of God,
        And read, with gentle breast. Beneath this sod
        A poet lies, or that which once seem'd he--
        O, lift one thought in prayer for S. T. C.--
        That he who many a year with toil of breath
        Found death in life, may here find life in death :
        Mercy for praise--to be forgiven for fame--
        He ask'd, and hoped through Christ. Do thou the same.

      Up

      Fears In Solitude

        A green and silent spot, amid the hills,
        A small and silent dell ! O'er stiller place
        No singing sky-lark ever poised himself.
        The hills are heathy, save that swelling slope,
        Which hath a gay and gorgeous covering on,
        All golden with the never-bloomless furze,
        Which now blooms most profusely : but the dell,
        Bathed by the mist, is fresh and delicate
        As vernal corn-field, or the unripe flax,
        When, through its half-transparent stalks, at eve,
        The level sunshine glimmers with green light.
        Oh ! 'tis a quiet spirit-healing nook !
        Which all, methinks, would love ; but chiefly he,
        The humble man, who, in his youthful years,
        Knew just so much of folly, as had made
        His early manhood more securely wise !
        Here he might lie on fern or withered heath,
        While from the singing lark (that sings unseen
        The minstrelsy that solitude loves best),
        And from the sun, and from the breezy air,
        Sweet influences trembled o'er his frame ;
        And he, with many feelings, many thoughts,
        Made up a meditative joy, and found
        Religious meanings in the forms of Nature !
        And so, his senses gradually wrapt
        In a half sleep, he dreams of better worlds,
        And dreaming hears thee still, O singing lark,
        That singest like an angel in the clouds !

        My God ! it is a melancholy thing
        For such a man, who would full fain preserve
        His soul in calmness, yet perforce must feel
        For all his human brethren--O my God !
        It weighs upon the heart, that he must think
        What uproar and what strife may now be stirring
        This way or that way o'er these silent hills--
        Invasion, and the thunder and the shout,
        And all the crash of onset ; fear and rage,
        And undetermined conflict--even now,
        Even now, perchance, and in his native isle :
        Carnage and groans beneath this blessed sun !
        We have offended, Oh ! my countrymen !
        We have offended very grievously,
        And been most tyrannous. From east to west
        A groan of accusation pierces Heaven !
        The wretched plead against us ; multitudes
        Countless and vehement, the sons of God,
        Our brethren ! Like a cloud that travels on,
        Steamed up from Cairo's swamps of pestilence,
        Even so, my countrymen ! have we gone forth
        And borne to distant tribes slavery and pangs,
        And, deadlier far, our vices, whose deep taint
        With slow perdition murders the whole man,
        His body and his soul ! Meanwhile, at home,
        All individual dignity and power
        Engulfed in Courts, Committees, Institutions,
        Associations and Societies,
        A vain, speach-mouthing, speech-reporting Guild,
        One Benefit-Club for mutual flattery,
        We have drunk up, demure as at a grace,
        Pollutions from the brimming cup of wealth ;
        Contemptuous of all honourable rule,
        Yet bartering freedom and the poor man's life
        For gold, as at a market ! The sweet words
        Of Christian promise, words that even yet
        Might stem destruction, were they wisely preached,
        Are muttered o'er by men, whose tones proclaim
        How flat and wearisome they feel their trade :
        Rank scoffers some, but most too indolent
        To deem them falsehoods or to know their truth.
        Oh ! blasphemous ! the Book of Life is made
        A superstitious instrument, on which
        We gabble o'er the oaths we mean to break ;
        For all must swear--all and in every place,
        College and wharf, council and justice-court ;
        All, all must swear, the briber and the bribed,
        Merchant and lawyer, senator and priest,
        The rich, the poor, the old man and the young ;
        All, all make up one scheme of perjury,
        That faith doth reel ; the very name of God
        Sounds like a juggler's charm ; and, bold with joy,
        Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-place,
        (Portentious sight !) the owlet Atheism,
        Sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon,
        Drops his blue-fringйd lids, and holds them close,
        And hooting at the glorious sun in Heaven,
        Cries out, `Where is it ?'

        [Image][Image][Image] Thankless too for peace,
        (Peace long preserved by fleets and perilous seas)
        Secure from actual warfare, we have loved
        To swell the war-whoop, passionate for war !
        Alas ! for ages ignorant of all
        Its ghastlier workings, (famine or blue plague,
        Battle, or siege, or flight through wintry snows,)
        We, this whole people, have been clamorous
        For war and bloodshed ; animating sports,
        The which we pay for as a thing to talk of,
        Spectators and not combatants ! No guess
        Anticipative of a wrong unfelt,
        No speculation on contingency,
        However dim and vague, too vague and dim
        To yield a justifying cause ; and forth,
        (Stuffed out with big preamble, holy names,
        And adjurations of the God in Heaven,)
        We send our mandates for the certain death
        Of thousands and ten thousands ! Boys and girls,
        And women, that would groan to see a child
        Pull off an insect's wing, all read of war,
        The best amusement for our morning meal !
        The poor wretch, who has learnt his only prayers
        From curses, and who knows scarcely words enough
        To ask a blessing from his Heavenly Father,
        Becomes a fluent phraseman, absolute
        And technical in victories and defeats,
        And all our dainty terms for fratricide ;
        Terms which we trundle smoothly o'er our tongues
        Like mere abstractions, empty sounds to which
        We join no feeling and attach no form !
        As if the soldier died without a wound ;
        As if the fibres of this godlike frame
        Were gored without a pang ; as if the wretch,
        Who fell in battle, doing bloody deeds,
        Passed off to Heaven, translated and not killed ;
        As though he had no wife to pine for him,
        No God to judge him ! Therefore, evil days
        Are coming on us, O my countrymen !
        And what if all-avenging Providence,
        Strong and retributive, should make us know
        The meaning of our words, force us to feel
        The desolation and the agony
        Of our fierce doings ?

        [Image][Image][Image] Spare us yet awhile,
        Father and God ! O ! spare us yet awhile !
        Oh ! let not English women drag their flight
        Fainting beneath the burthen of their babes,
        Of the sweet infants, that but yesterday
        Laughed at the breast ! Sons, brothers, husbands, all
        Who ever gazed with fondness on the forms
        Which grew up with you round the same fire-side,
        And all who ever heard the sabbath-bells
        Without the infidel's scorn, make yourselves pure !
        Stand forth ! be men ! repel an impious foe,
        Impious and false, a light yet cruel race,
        Who laugh away all virtue, mingling mirth
        With deeds of murder ; and still promising
        Freedom, themselves too sensual to be free,
        Poison life's amities, and cheat the heart
        Of faith and quiet hope, and all that soothes,
        And all that lifts the spirit ! Stand we forth ;
        Render them back upon the insulted ocean,
        And let them toss as idly on its waves
        As the vile sea-weed, which some mountain-blast
        Swept from our shores ! And oh ! may we return
        Not with a drunken triumph, but with fear,
        Repenting of the wrongs with which we stung
        So fierce a foe to frenzy !

        [Image][Image][Image][Image] I have told,
        O Britons ! O my brethren ! I have told
        Most bitter truth, but without bitterness.
        Nor deem my zeal or factious or mistimed ;
        For never can true courage dwell with them,
        Who, playing tricks with conscience, dare not look
        At their own vices. We have been too long
        Dupes of a deep delusion ! Some, belike,
        Groaning with restless enmity, expect
        All change from change of constituted power ;
        As if a Government had been a robe,
        On which our vice and wretchedness were tagged
        Like fancy-points and fringes, with the robe
        Pulled off at pleasure. Fondly these attach
        A radical causation to a few
        Poor drudges of chastising Providence,
        Who borrow all their hues and qualities
        From our own folly and rank wickedness,
        Which gave them birth and nursed them. Others, meanwhile,
        Dote with a mad idolatry ; and all
        Who will not fall before their images,
        And yield them worship, they are enemies
        Even of their country !

        [Image] [Image] [Image] Such have I been deemed--
        But, O dear Britain ! O my Mother Isle !
        Needs must thou prove a name most dear and holy
        To me, a son, a brother, and a friend,
        A husband, and a father ! who revere
        All bonds of natural love, and find them all
        Within the limits of thy rocky shores.
        O native Britain ! O my Mother Isle !
        How shouldst thou prove aught else but dear and holy
        To me, who from thy lakes and mountain-hills,
        Thy clouds, thy quiet dales, thy rocks and seas,
        Have drunk in all my intellectual life,
        All sweet sensations, all ennobling thoughts,
        All adoration of God in nature,
        All lovely and all honourable things,
        Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel
        The joy and greatness of its future being ?
        There lives nor form nor feeling in my soul
        Unborrowed from my country ! O divine
        And beauteous island ! thou hast been my sole
        And most magnificent temple, in the which
        I walk with awe, and sing my stately songs,
        Loving the God that made me !--

        [Image][Image][Image][Image][Image] May my fears,
        My filial fears, be vain ! and may the vaunts
        And menace of the vengeful enemy
        Pass like the gust, that roared and died away
        In the distant tree : which heard, and only heard
        In this low dell, bowed not the delicate grass.

        But now the gentle dew-fall sends abroad
        The fruit-like perfume of the golden furze :
        The light has left the summit of the hill,
        Though still a sunny gleam lies beautiful,
        Aslant the ivied beacon. Now farewell,
        Farewell, awhile, O soft and silent spot !
        On the green sheep-track, up the heathy hill,
        Homeward I wind my way ; and lo ! recalled
        From bodings that have well-nigh wearied me,
        I find myself upon the brow, and pause
        Startled ! And after lonely sojourning
        In such a quiet and surrounded nook,
        This burst of prospect, here the shadowy main,
        Dim tinted, there the mighty majesty
        Of that huge amphitheatre of rich
        And elmy fields, seems like society--
        Conversing with the mind, and giving it
        A livelier impulse and a dance of thought !
        And now, belovйd Stowey ! I behold
        Thy church-tower, and, methinks, the four huge elms
        Clustering, which mark the mansion of my friend ;
        And close behind them, hidden from my view,
        Is my own lowly cottage, where my babe
        And my babe's mother dwell in peace ! With light
        And quickened footsteps thitherward I tend,
        Remembering thee, O green and silent dell !
        And grateful, that by nature's quietness
        And solitary musings, all my heart
        Is softened, and made worthy to indulge
        Love, and the thoughts that yearn for human kind.

      Up

      Fragment

        The body,
        Eternal Shadow of the finite Soul,
        The Soul's self-symbol, its image of itself.
        Its own yet not itself--

      Up

      France: An Ode

        O Liberty ! with profitless endeavour
        Have I pursued thee, many a weary hour ;
        But thou nor swell'st the victor's strain, nor ever
        Didst breathe thy soul in forms of human power.
        Alike from all, howe'er they praise thee,
        (Nor prayer, nor boastful name delays thee)
        [Image]Alike from Priestcraft's harpy minions,
        And factious Blasphemy's obscener slaves,
        Thou speedest on thy subtle pinions,
        The guide of homeless winds, and playmate of the waves !
        And there I felt thee !--on that sea-cliff's verge,
        Whose pines, scarce travelled by the breeze above,
        Had made one murmur with the distant surge !
        Yes, while I stood and gazed, my temples bare,
        And shot my being through earth, sea, and air,
        Possessing all things with intensest love,
        O Liberty ! my spirit felt thee there.

      Up

      From 'Religious Musings'

        I

        THERE is one Mind, one omnipresent Mind,
        Omnific. His most holy name is Love.
        Truth of subliming import! with the which
        Who feeds and saturates his constant soul,
        He from his small particular orbit flies
        With blest outstarting! From himself he flies,
        Stands in the sun, and with no partial gaze
        Views all creation; and he loves it all,
        And blesses it, and calls it very good!
        This is indeed to dwell with the Most High!
        Cherubs and rapture-trembling Seraphim
        Can press no nearer to the Almighty’s throne.
        But that we roam unconscious, or with hearts
        Unfeeling of our universal Sire,
        And that in His vast family no Cain
        Injures uninjured (in her best-aimed blow
        Victorious Murder a blind Suicide)
        Haply for this some younger Angel now
        Looks down on Human Nature: and, behold!
        A sea of blood bestrewed with wrecks, where mad
        Embattling Interests on each other rush
        With unhelmed rage!
        ’Tis the sublime of man,
        Our noontide Majesty, to know ourselves
        Parts and proportions of one wondrous whole!
        This fraternizes man, this constitutes
        Our charities and bearings. But ’tis God
        Diffused through all, that doth make all one whole;
        This the worst superstition, him except
        Aught to desire, Supreme Reality!
        The plenitude and permanence of bliss!

        II

        Toy-bewitched,
        Made blind by lusts, disherited of soul,
        No common centre Man, no common sire
        Knoweth! A sordid solitary thing,
        Mid countless brethren with a lonely heart
        Through courts and cities the smooth savage roams
        Feeling himself, his own low self the whole;
        When he by sacred sympathy might make
        The whole one Self! Self, that no alien knows!
        Self, far diffused as Fancy’s wing can travel!
        Self, spreading still! Oblivious of its own,
        Yet all of all possessing! This is Faith!
        This the Messiah’s destined victory!

      Up

      Frost At Midnight

        The Frost performs its secret ministry,
        Unhelped by any wind. The owlet's cry
        Came loud--and hark, again! loud as before.
        The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
        Have left me to that solitude, which suits
        Abstruser musings: save that at my side
        My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
        'Tis calm indeed! so calm, that it disturbs
        And vexes meditation with its strange
        And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood,
        This populous village! Sea, and hill, and wood,
        With all the numberless goings-on of life,
        Inaudible as dreams! the thin blue flame
        Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not ;
        Only that film, which fluttered on the grate,
        Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.
        Methinks, its motion in this hush of nature
        Gives it dim sympathies with me who live,
        Making it a companionable form,
        Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit
        By its own moods interprets, every where
        Echo or mirror seeking of itself,
        And makes a toy of Thought.

        But O! how oft,
        How oft, at school, with most believing mind,
        Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars,
        To watch that fluttering stranger! and as oft
        With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt
        Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower,
        Whose bells, the poor man's only music, rang
        From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day,
        So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me
        With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear
        Most like articulate sounds of things to come!
        So gazed I, till the soothing things, I dreamt,
        Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged my dreams!
        And so I brooded all the following morn,
        Awed by the stern preceptor's face, mine eye
        Fixed with mock study on my swimming book:
        Save if the door half opened, and I snatched
        A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped up,
        For still I hoped to see the stranger's face,
        Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved,
        My play-mate when we both were clothed alike!.

        Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side,
        Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm,
        Fill up the intersperséd vacancies
        And momentary pauses of the thought!
        My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart
        With tender gladness, thus to look at thee,
        And think that thou shalt learn far other lore,
        And in far other scenes! For I was reared
        In the great city, pent 'mid cloisters dim,
        And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.
        But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze
        By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
        Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
        Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
        And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear
        The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
        Of that eternal language, which thy God
        Utters, who from eternity doth teach
        Himself in all, and all things in himself.
        Great universal Teacher! he shall mould
        Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.

        Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
        Whether the summer clothe the general earth
        With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
        Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
        Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
        Smokes in the sun-thaw ; whether the eave-drops fall
        Heard only in the trances of the blast,
        Or if the secret ministry of frost
        Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
        Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

      Up

      Glycine's Song

        A sunny shaft did I behold,
        From sky to earth it slanted:
        And poised therein a bird so bold
        Sweet bird, thou wert enchanted!

        He sank, he rose, he twinkled, he troll'd
        Within that shaft of sunny mist;
        His eyes of fire, his beak of gold,
        All else of amethyst!

        And thus he sang: 'Adieu! adieu!
        Love's dreams prove seldom true.
        The blossoms, they make no delay:
        The sparking dew-drops will not stay.
        Sweet month of May,
        We must away;
        Far, far away!
        To-day! to-day!'

      Up

      Hexameters

        William, my teacher, my friend ! dear William and dear Dorothea !
        Smooth out the folds of my letter, and place it on desk or on table ;
        Place it on table or desk ; and your right hands loosely half-closing,
        Gently sustain them in air, and extending the digit didactic,
        Rest it a moment on each of the forks of the five-forkйd left hand,
        Twice on the breadth of the thumb, and once on the tip of each finger ;
        Read with a nod of the head in a humouring recitativo ;
        And, as I live, you will see my hexameters hopping before you.
        This is a galloping measure ; a hop, and a trot, and a gallop !

        All my hexameters fly, like stags pursued by the staghounds,
        Breathless and panting, and ready to drop, yet flying still onwards,
        I would full fain pull in my hard-mouthed runaway hunter ;
        But our English Spondeans are clumsy yet impotent curb-reins ;
        And so to make him go slowly, no way left have I but to lame him.

        William, my head and my heart ! dear Poet that feelest and thinkest !
        Dorothy, eager of soul, my most affectionate sister !
        Many a mile, O ! many a wearisome mile are ye distant,
        Long, long, comfortless roads, with no one eye that doth know us.
        O ! it is all too far to send to you mockeries idle :
        Yea, and I feel it not right ! But O ! my friends, my belovйd !
        Feverish and wakeful I lie,--I am weary of feeling and thinking.
        Every thought is worn down,--I am weary, yet cannot be vacant.
        Five long hours have I tossed, rheumatic heats, dry and flushing,
        Gnawing behind in my head, and wandering and throbbing about me,
        Busy and tiresome, my friends, as the beat of the boding night-spider.

        I forget the beginning of the line :

        [Image][Image][Image][Image][Image] ... my eyes are a burthen,
        Now unwillingly closed, now open and aching with darkness.
        O ! what a life is the eye ! what a strange and inscrutable essence !
        Him that is utterly blind, nor glimpses the fire that warms him ;
        Him that never beheld the swelling breast of his mother ;
        Him that smiled in his gladness as a babe that smiles in its slumber ;
        Even for him it exists, it moves and stirs in its prison ;
        Lives with a separate life, and `Is it a Spirit ?' he murmurs :
        `Sure, it has thoughts of its own, and to see is only a language.'

        There was a great deal more, which I have forgotten. ... The last line
        which I wrote, I remember, and write it for the truth of the sentiment,
        scarcely less true in company than in pain and solitude :--

        William, my head and my heart ! dear William and dear Dorothea !
        You have all in each other ; but I am lonely, and want you !

      Up

      Human Life

        If dead, we cease to be ; if total gloom
        Swallow up life's brief flash for aye, we fare
        As summer-gusts, of sudden birth and doom,
        Whose sound and motion not alone declare,
        But are their whole of being ! If the breath
        Be Life itself, and not its task and tent,
        If even a soul like Milton's can know death ;
        O Man ! thou vessel purposeless, unmeant,
        Yet drone-hive strange of phantom purposes !
        Surplus of Nature's dread activity,
        Which, as she gazed on some nigh-finished vase,
        Retreating slow, with meditative pause,
        She formed with restless hands unconsciously.
        Blank accident ! nothing's anomaly !
        If rootless thus, thus substanceless thy state,
        Go, weigh thy dreams, and be thy hopes, thy fears,
        The counter-weights !--Thy laughter and thy tears
        Mean but themselves, each fittest to create
        And to repay the other ! Why rejoices
        Thy heart with hollow joy for hollow good ?
        Why cowl thy face beneath the mourner's hood ?
        Why waste thy sighs, and thy lamenting voices,
        Image of Image, Ghost of Ghostly Elf,
        That such a thing as thou feel'st warm or cold ?
        Yet what and whence thy gain, if thou withhold
        These costless shadows of thy shadowy self ?
        Be sad ! be glad ! be neither ! seek, or shun !
        Thou hast no reason why ! Thou canst have none ;
        Thy being's being is contradiction.

      Up

      Hymn Before Sun-Rise, In The Vale Of Chamouni

        Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star
        In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
        On thy bald awful head, O sovran BLANC,
        The Arve and Arveiron at thy base
        Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful Form!
        Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines,
        How silently! Around thee and above
        Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black,
        An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it,
        As with a wedge! But when I look again,
        It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
        Thy habitation from eternity!
        O dread and silent Mount! I gazed upon thee,
        Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
        Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer
        I worshipped the Invisible alone.

        Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,
        So sweet, we know not we are listening to it,
        Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my Thought,
        Yea, with my Life and Life's own secret joy:
        Till the dilating Soul, enrapt, transfused,
        Into the mighty vision passing--there
        As in her natural form, swelled vast to Heaven!

        Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
        Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
        Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake,
        Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
        Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my Hymn.

        Thou first and chief, sole sovereign of the Vale!
        O struggling with the darkness all the night,
        And visited all night by troops of stars,
        Or when they climb the sky or when they sink:
        Companion of the morning-star at dawn,
        Thyself Earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
        Co-herald: wake, O wake, and utter praise!
        Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in Earth?
        Who filled thy countenance with rosy light?
        Who made thee parent of perpetual streams?

        And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad!
        Who called you forth from night and utter death,
        From dark and icy caverns called you forth,
        Down those precipitous, black, jaggйd rocks,
        For ever shattered and the same for ever?
        Who gave you your invulnerable life,
        Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
        Unceasing thunder and eternal foam?
        And who commanded (and the silence came),
        Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest?

        Ye Ice-falls! ye that from the mountain's brow
        Adown enormous ravines slope amain--
        Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
        And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge!
        Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!
        Who made your glorious as the Gates of Heaven
        Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the sun
        Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
        Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet?--
        God! let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
        Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God!
        God! sing ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice!
        Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
        And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
        And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!

        Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!
        Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest!
        Yet eagles, play-mates of the mountain-storm!
        Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!
        Ye signs and wonders of the element!
        Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise!

        Thou too, hoar Mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
        Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
        Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene
        Into the depth of clouds, that veil thy breast--
        Thou too again, stupendous Mountain! thou
        That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low
        In adoration, upward from thy base
        Slow travelling with dim eyes suffused with tears,
        Solemnly seemest, like a vapoury cloud,
        To rise before me--Rise, O ever rise,
        Rise like a cloud of incense from the Earth!
        Thou kingly Spirit throned among the hills,
        Thou dread ambassador from Earth to Heaven,
        Great Hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
        And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun
        Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.

      Up

      I Know 'Tis But A Dream, Yet Feel More Anguish (Fragment)

        I know 'tis but a Dream, yet feel more anguish
        Than if 'twere Truth. It has been often so:
        Must I die under it? Is no one near?
        Will no one hear these stifled groans and wake me?

      Up

      Inscription For A Fountain On A Heath

        This Sycamore, oft musical with bees,--
        Such tents the Patriarchs loved ! O long unharmed
        May all its agйd boughs o'er-canopy
        The small round basin, which this jutting stone
        Keeps pure from falling leaves ! Long may the Spring,
        Quietly as a sleeping infant's breath,
        Send up cold waters to the traveller
        With soft and even pulse ! Nor ever cease
        Yon tiny cone of sand its soundless dance,
        Which at the bottom, like a Fairy's Page,
        As merry and no taller, dances still,
        Nor wrinkles the smooth surface of the Fount.
        Here Twilight is and Coolness : here is moss,
        A soft seat, and a deep and ample shade.
        Thou may'st toil far and find no second tree.
        Drink, Pilgrim, here ; Here rest ! and if thy heart
        Be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh
        Thy spirit, listening to some gentle sound,
        Or passing gale or hum of murmuring bees !

      Up

      Kubla Khan

        In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
        A stately pleasuredome decree:
        Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
        Through caverns measureless to man
        Down to a sunless sea.

        So twice five miles of fertile ground
        With walls and towers were girdled round:
        And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
        Where blossomed many an incensebearing tree;
        And here were forests ancient as the hills,
        Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

        But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
        Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
        A savage place! as holy and enchanted
        As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
        By woman wailing for her demonlover!
        And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
        As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
        A mighty fountain momently was forced:
        Amid whose swift halfintermitted burst
        Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
        Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
        And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
        It flung up momently the sacred river.
        Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
        Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
        Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
        And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
        And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
        Ancestral voices prophesying war!.

        The shadow of the dome of pleasure
        Floated midway on the waves;
        Where was heard the mingled measure
        From the fountain and the caves.
        It was a miracle of rare device,
        A sunny pleasuredome with caves of ice!.

        A damsel with a dulcimer
        In a vision once I saw:
        It was an Abyssinian maid,
        And on her dulcimer she played,
        Singing of Mount Abora.

        Could I revive within me
        Her symphony and song,
        To such a deep delight 'twould win me
        That with music loud and long
        I would build that dome in air,
        That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
        And all who heard should see them there,
        And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
        His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
        Weave a circle round him thrice,
        And close your eyes with holy dread,
        For he on honeydew hath fed
        And drunk the milk of Paradise.

      Up

      Life

        As late I journey'd o'er the extensive plain
        Where native Otter sports his scanty stream,
        Musing in torpid woe a Sister's pain,
        The glorious prospect woke me from the dream.

        At every step it widen'd to my sight -
        Wood, Meadow, verdant Hill, and dreary Steep,
        Following in quick succession of delight, -
        Till all - at once - did my eye ravish'd sweep!

        May this (I cried) my course through Life portray!
        New scenes of Wisdom may each step display,
        And Knowledge open as my days advance!
        Till what time Death shall pour the undarken'd ray,
        My eye shall dart thro' infinite expanse,
        And thought suspended lie in Rapture's blissful trance.

      Up

      Limbo

        The sole true Something--This ! In Limbo Den
        It frightens Ghosts as Ghosts here frighten men--
        For skimming in the wake it mock'd the care
        Of the old Boat-God for his Farthing Fare ;
        Tho' Irus' Ghost itself he ne'er frown'd blacker on,
        The skin and skin-pent Druggist crost the Acheron,
        Styx, and with Puriphlegethon Cocytus,--
        (The very names, methinks, might thither fright us--)
        Unchang'd it cross'd--& shall some fated Hour
        Be pulveris'd by Demogorgon's power
        And given as poison to annilate Souls--
        Even now It shrinks them ! they shrink in as Moles
        (Nature's mute Monks, live Mandrakes of the ground)
        Creep back from Light--then listen for its Sound ;--
        See but to dread, and dread they know not why--
        The natural Alien of their negative Eye.

        'Tis a strange place, this Limbo !--not a Place,
        Yet name it so ;--where Time & weary Space
        Fettered from flight, with night-mair sense of fleeing,
        Strive for their last crepuscular half-being ;--
        Lank Space, and scytheless Time with branny hands
        Barren and soundless as the measuring sands,
        Not mark'd by flit of Shades,--unmeaning they
        As Moonlight on the dial of the day !
        But that is lovely--looks like Human Time,--
        An Old Man with a steady Look sublime,
        That stops his earthly Task to watch the skies ;
        But he is blind--a Statue hath such Eyes ;--
        Yet having moon-ward turn'd his face by chance,
        Gazes the orb with moon-like countenance,
        With scant white hairs, with foretop bald & high,
        He gazes still,--his eyeless Face all Eye ;--
        As 'twere an organ full of silent Sight,
        His whole Face seemeth to rejoice in Light !
        Lip touching lip, all moveless, bust and limb,
        He seems to gaze at that which seems to gaze on him !
        No such sweet sights doth Limbo Den immure,
        Wall'd round, and made a Spirit-jail secure,
        By the mere Horror of blank Naught-at-all,
        Whose circumambience doth these Ghosts enthral.
        A lurid thought is growthless, dull Privation,
        Yet that is but a Purgatory curse ;
        Hell knows a fear far worse,
        A fear--a future fate.--'Tis positive Negation !

      Up

      Lines

        With many a pause and oft reverted eye
        I climb the Coomb's ascent: sweet songsters near
        Warble in shade their wild-wood melody:
        Far off the unvarying Cuckoo soothes my ear.
        Up scour the startling stragglers of the flock
        That on green plots o'er precipices browze:
        From the deep fissures of the naked rock
        The Yew-tree bursts! Beneath its dark green boughs
        (Mid which the May-thorn blends its blossoms white)
        Where broad smooth stones jut out in mossy seats,
        I rest: - and now have gain'd the topmost site.
        Ah! what a luxury of landscape meets
        My gaze! Proud towers, and Cots more dear to me,
        Elm-shadow'd Fields, and prospect-bounding Sea!
        Deep sighs my lonely heart: I drop the tear:
        Enchanting spot! O were my Sara here!

      Up

      Love

        All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
        Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
        All are but ministers of Love,
        And feed his sacred flame.

        Oft in my waking dreams do I
        Live o'er again that happy hour,
        When midway on the mount I lay,
        Beside the ruined tower.

        The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene
        Had blended with the lights of eve:
        And she was there, my hope, my joy,
        My own dear Genevieve!.

        She leant against the arméd man,
        The statue of the arméd knight:
        She stood and listened to my lay,
        Amid the lingering light.

        Few sorrows hath she of her own,
        My hope! my joy! my Genevieve!
        She loves me best, whene'er I sing
        The songs that make her grieve.

        I played a soft and doleful air,
        I sang an old and moving story
        An old rude song, that suited well
        That ruin wild and hoary.

        She listened with a flitting blush,
        With downcast eyes and modest grace:
        For well she know, I could not choose
        But gaze upon her face.

        I told her of the Knight that wore
        Upon his shield a burning brand:
        And that for ten long years he wooed
        The Lady of the Land.

        I told her how he pined: and ah!
        The deep, the low, the pleading tone
        With which I sang another's love,
        Interpreted my own.

        She listened with a flitting blush,
        With downcast eyes, and modest grace:
        And she forgave me, that I gazed
        Too fondly on her face!.

        But when I told the cruel scorn
        That crazed that bold and lovely Knight,
        And that he crossed the mountainwoods,
        Nor rested day nor night:

        That sometimes from the savage den,
        And sometimes from the darksome shade,
        And sometimes starting up at once
        In green and sunny glade,

        There came and looked him in the face
        An angel beautiful and bright:
        And that he knew it was a Fiend,
        This miserable Knight!.

        And that unknowing what he did,
        He leaped amid a murderous band,
        And saved from outrage worse than death
        The Lady of the Land!.

        And how she wept, and clasped his knees:
        And how she tended him in vain
        And ever strove to expiate
        The scorn that crazed his brain ;

        And that she nursed him in a cave:
        And how his madness went away,
        When on the yellow forestleaves
        A dying man he lay ;

        His dying words but when I reached
        That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
        My faultering voice and pausing harp
        Disturbed her soul with pity!.

        All impulses of soul and sense
        Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve:
        The music and the doleful tale,
        The rich and balmy eve:

        And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
        An undistinguishable throng,
        And gentle wishes long subdued,
        Subdued and cherished long!.

        She wept with pity and delight,
        She blushed with love, and virginshame:
        And like the murmur of a dream,
        I heard her breathe my name.

        Her bosom heaved she stepped aside,
        As conscious of my look she stepped
        The suddenly, with timorous eye
        She fled to me and wept.

        She half enclosed me with her arms,
        She pressed me with a meek embrace:
        And bending back her head, looked up,
        And gazed upon my face.

        'Twas partly love, and partly fear,
        And partly 'twas a bashful art,
        That I might rather feel, than see,
        The swelling of her heart.

        I calmed her fears, and she was calm,
        And told her love with virgin pride:
        And so I won my Genevieve,
        My bright and beauteous Bride.

      Up

      Love's Apparition And Evanishment: An Allegoric Romance

        Like a lone Arab, old and blind,
        Some caravan had left behind,
        Who sits beside a ruin'd well,
        Where the shy sand-asps bask and swell;
        And now he hangs his ag{'e}d head aslant,
        And listens for a human sound--in vain!
        And now the aid, which Heaven alone can grant,
        Upturns his eyeless face from Heaven to gain;--
        Even thus, in vacant mood, one sultry hour,
        Resting my eye upon a drooping plant,
        With brow low-bent, within my garden-bower,
        I sate upon the couch of camomile;
        And--whether 'twas a transient sleep, perchance,
        Flitted across the idle brain, the while
        I watch'd the sickly calm with aimless scope,
        In my own heart; or that, indeed a trance,
        Turn'd my eye inward--thee, O genial Hope,
        Love's elder sister! thee did I behold
        Drest as a bridesmaid, but all pale and cold,
        With roseless cheek, all pale and cold and dim,
        Lie lifeless at my feet!
        And then came Love, a sylph in bridal trim,
        And stood beside my seat;
        She bent, and kiss'd her sister's lips,
        As she was wont to do;--
        Alas! 'twas but a chilling breath
        Woke just enough of life in death
        To make Hope die anew.

      Up

      Metrical Feet

        Trochee trips from long to short;
        From long to long in solemn sort
        Slow Spondee stalks, strong foot!, yet ill able
        Ever to come up with Dactyl's trisyllable.
        Iambics march from short to long.
        With a leap and a bound the swift Anapests throng.
        One syllable long, with one short at each side,
        Amphibrachys hastes with a stately stride --
        First and last being long, middle short, Amphimacer
        Strikes his thundering hoofs like a proud high-bred Racer.

        If Derwent be innocent, steady, and wise,
        And delight in the things of earth, water, and skies;
        Tender warmth at his heart, with these meters to show it,
        WIth sound sense in his brains, may make Derwent a poet --
        May crown him with fame, and must win him the love
        Of his father on earth and his father above.
        My dear, dear child!
        Could you stand upon Skiddaw, you would not from its whole ridge
        See a man who so loves you as your fond S.T. Colerige.

      Up

      On A Ruined House In A Romantic Country

        And this reft house is that the which he built,
        Lamented Jack ! And here his malt he pil'd,
        Cautious in vain ! These rats that squeak so wild,
        Squeak, not unconscious of their father's guilt.
        Did ye not see her gleaming thro' the glade ?
        Belike, 'twas she, the maiden all forlorn.
        What though she milk no cow with crumpled horn,
        Yet aye she haunts the dale where erst she stray'd ;
        And aye beside her stalks her amorous knight !
        Still on his thighs their wonted brogues are worn,
        And thro' those brogues, still tatter'd and betorn,
        His hindward charms gleam an unearthly white ;
        As when thro' broken clouds at night's high noon
        Peeps in fair fragments forth the full-orb'd harvest-moon !

      Up

      On Donne's Poetry

        "With Donne, whose muse on dromedary trots,
        Wreathe iron pokers into true-love knots ;
        Rhyme's sturdy cripple, fancy's maze and clue,
        Wit's forge and fire-blast, meaning's press and screw."

      Up

      Phantom

        All look and likeness caught from earth
        All accident of kin and birth,
        Had pass'd away. There was no trace
        Of aught on that illumined face,
        Uprais'd beneath the rifted stone
        But of one spirit all her own ;--
        She, she herself, and only she,
        Shone through her body visibly.

      Up

      Psyche

        The butterfly the ancient Grecians made
        The soul's fair emblem, and its only name--
        But of the soul, escaped the slavish trade
        Of mortal life !--For in this earthly frame
        Ours is the reptile's lot, much toil, much blame,
        Manifold motions making little speed,
        And to deform and kill the things whereon we feed.

      Up

      Reason

        Finally, what is Reason ? You have often asked me ; and this is my
        answer :--

        Whene'er the mist, that stands 'twixt God and thee,
        [Sublimates] to a pure transparency,
        That intercepts no light and adds no stain--
        There Reason is, and then begins her reign !

        But alas !
        ------`tu stesso, ti fai grosso
        Col falso immaginar, sм che non vedi
        Ciт che vedresti, se l'avessi scosso.'

      Up

      Recollections Of Love

        I

        How warm this woodland wild Recess !
        Love surely hath been breathing here ;
        And this sweet bed of heath, my dear !
        Swells up, then sinks with faint caress,
        As if to have you yet more near.

        II

        Eight springs have flown, since last I lay
        On sea-ward Quantock's heathy hills,
        Where quiet sounds from hidden rills
        Float hear and there, like things astray,
        And high o'er head the sky-lark shrills.

        III

        No voice as yet had made the air
        Be music with your name ; yet why
        That asking look ? that yearning sigh ?
        That sense of promise every where ?
        Belovйd ! flew your spirit by ?

        IV

        As when a mother doth explore
        The rose-mark on her long-lost child,
        I met, I loved you, maiden mild !
        As whom I long had loved before--
        So deeply had I been beguiled.

        V

        You stood before me like a thought,
        A dream remembered in a dream.
        But when those meek eyes first did seem
        To tell me, Love within you wrought--
        O Greta, dear domestic stream !

        VI

        Has not, since then, Love's prompture deep,
        Has not Love's whisper evermore
        Been ceaseless, as thy gentle roar ?
        Sole voice, when other voices sleep,
        Dear under-song in clamor's hour.

      Up

      Reflections On Having Left A Place Of Retirement

        Low was our pretty Cot : our tallest Rose
        Peep'd at the chamber-window. We could hear
        At silent noon, and eve, and early morn,
        The Sea's faint murmur. In the open air
        Our Myrtles blossom'd; and across the porch
        Thick Jasmins twined : the little landscape round
        Was green and woody, and refresh'd the eye.
        It was a spot which you might aptly call
        The Valley of Seclusion ! Once I saw
        (Hallowing his Sabbath-day by quiteness)
        A wealthy son of Commerce saunter by,
        Bristowa's citizen : methought, it calm'd
        His thirst of idle gold, and made him muse
        With wiser feelings : for he paus'd, and look'd
        With a pleas'd sadness, and gaz'd all around,
        Then eyed our Cottage, and gaz'd round again,
        And sigh'd, and said, it was a Blessйd Place.
        And we were bless'd. Oft with patient ear
        Long-listening to the viewless sky-lark's note
        (Viewless, or haply for a moment seen
        Gleaming on sunny wings) in whisper'd tones
        I said to my Belovйd, `Such, sweet Girl !
        The inobtrusive song of Happiness,
        Unearthly minstrelsy ! then only heard
        When the Soul seeks to hear ; when all is hush'd,
        And the Heart listens !'

        [Image][Image][Image]But the time, when first
        From that low Dell, steep up the stony Mount
        I climb'd with perilous toil and reach'd the top,
        Oh ! what a goodly scene ! Here the bleak mount,
        The bare bleak mountain speckled thin with sheep ;
        Grey clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields ;
        And river, now with bushy rocks o'er-brow'd,
        Now winding bright and full, with naked banks ;
        And seats, and lawns, the Abbey and the wood,
        And cots, and hamlets, and faint city-spire ;
        The Channel there, the Islands and white sails,
        Dim coasts, and cloud-like hills, and shoreless Ocean--
        It seem'd like Omnipresence ! God, methought,
        Had build him there a Temple : the whole World
        Seem'd imag'd in its vast circumference :
        No wish profan'd my overwhelmйd heart.
        Blest hour ! It was a luxury,--to be !

        Ah ! quiet Dell ! dear Cot, and Mount sublime !
        I was constrain'd to quit you. Was it right,
        While my unnumber'd brethren toil'd and bled,
        That I should dream away the entrusted hours
        On rose-leaf beds, pampering the coward heart
        With feelings all too delicate for use ?
        Sweet is the tear that from some Howard's eye
        Drops on the cheek of one he lifts from earth :
        And he that works me good with unmov'd face,
        Does it but half : he chills me while he aids,
        My benefactor, not my brother man !
        Yet even this, this cold beneficience
        Praise, praise it, O my Soul ! oft as thou scann'st
        The sluggard Pity's vision-weaving tribe !
        Who sigh for Wretchedness, yet shun the Wretched,
        Nursing in some delicious solitude
        Their slothful loves and dainty sympathies !
        I therefore go, and join head, heart, and hand,
        Active and firm, to fight the bloodless fight
        Of Science, Freedom, and the Truth in Christ.

        Yet oft when after honourable toil
        Rests the tir'd mind, and waking loves to dream,
        My spirit shall revisit thee, dear Cot !
        Thy Jasmin and thy window-peeping Rose,
        And Myrtles fearless of the mild sea-air.
        And I shall sigh fond wishes--sweet Abode !
        Ah !--had none greater ! And that all had such !
        It might be so--but the time is not yet.
        Speed it, O Father ! Let thy Kingdom come !

      Up

      Something Childish, But Very Natural

        If I had but two little wings
        And were a little feathery bird,
        To you I'd fly, my dear!
        But thoughts like these are idle things,
        And I stay here.

        But in my sleep to you I fly:
        I'm always with you in my sleep!
        The world is all one's own.
        But then one wakes, and where am I?
        All, all alone.

        Sleep stays not, though a monarch bids:
        So I love to wake ere break of day:
        For though my sleep be gone,
        Yet while 'tis dark, one shuts one's lids,
        And still dreams on.

      Up

      Song

        Tho' veiled in spires of myrtle-wreath,
        Love is a sword that cuts its sheath,
        And thro' the clefts, itself has made,
        We spy the flashes of the Blade !

        But thro' the clefts, itself has made,
        We likewise see Love's flashing blade,
        By rust consumed or snapt in twain :
        And only Hilt and Stump remain.

      Up

      The Aeolian Harp

        My pensive Sara! thy soft cheek reclined
        Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is
        To sit beside our Cot, our Cot o'ergrown
        With white-flower'd Jasmin, and the broad-leav'd Myrtle,
        (Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love!)
        And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light,
        Slow saddenning round, and mark the star of eve
        Serenely brilliant (such should Wisdom be)
        Shine opposite! How exquisite the scents
        Snatch'd from yon bean-field! and the world so hush'd!
        The stilly murmur of the distant Sea
        Tells us of silence.

        And that simplest Lute,
        Plac'd length-ways in the clasping casement, hark!
        How by the desultory breeze caress'd,
        Like some coy maid half-yielding to her lover,
        It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs
        Tempt to repeat the wrong! And now, its strings
        Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes
        Over delicious surges sink and rise,
        Such a soft floating witchery of sound
        As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve
        Voyage on gentle gales from Faery-Land,
        Where Melodies round honey-dropping flowers,
        Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,
        Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untam'd wing!
        O! the one Life within us and abroad,
        Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,
        A light in sound, a sound-like power in light,
        Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where--
        Methinks, it should have been impossible
        Not to love all things in a world so fill'd ;
        Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
        Is Music slumbering on her instrument.

        And thus, my Love! as on the midway slope
        Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
        Whilst thro' my half-clos'd eye-lids I behold
        The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,
        And tranquil muse upon tranquility ;
        Full many a thought uncall'd and undetain'd,
        And many idle flitting phantasies,
        Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
        As wild and various, as the random gales
        That swell and flutter on this subject Lute!
        And what if all of animated nature
        Be but organic Harps diversly fram'd,
        That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps
        Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
        At once the Soul of each, and God of all?
        But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
        Darts, O belovéd Woman! nor such thoughts
        Dim and unhallow'd dost thou not reject,
        And biddest me walk humbly with my God.
        Meek Daughter in the Family of Christ!
        Well hast thou said and holily disprais'd
        These shapings of the unregenerate mind ;
        Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
        On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring.
        For never guiltless may I speak of him,
        The Incomprehensible! save when with awe
        I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels ;
        Who with his saving mercies healéd me,
        A sinful and most miserable man,
        Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess
        Peace, and this Cot, and thee, heart-honour'd Maid!.

      Up

      The Blossing Of The Solitary Date-Tree

        Beneath the blaze of a tropical sun the mountain peaks are the Thrones of
        Frost, through the absence of objects to reflect the rays. `What no one
        with us shares, seems scarce our own.' The presence of a ONE,

        The best belov'd, who loveth me the best,

        is for the heart, what the supporting air from within is for the hollow
        globe with its suspended car. Deprive it of this, and all without, that
        would have buoyed it aloft even to the seat of the gods, becomes a burthen
        and crushes it into flatness.

        II

        The finer the sense for the beautiful and the lovely, and the fairer and
        lovelier the object presented to the sense ; the more exquisite the
        individual's capacity of joy, and the more ample his means and
        opportunities of enjoyment, the more heavily will he feel the ache of
        solitariness, the more unsubstantial becomes the feast spread around him.
        What matters it, whether in fact the viands and the ministering graces are
        shadowy or real, to him who has not hand to grasp nor arms to embrace them
        ?

        III

        Hope, Imagination, honourable Aims,
        Free Commune with the choir that cannot die,
        Science and Song, delight in little things,
        The buoyant child surviving in the man ;
        Fields, forests, ancient mountains, ocean, sky,
        With all their voices--O dare I accuse
        My earthly lot as guilty of my spleen,
        Or call my destiny niggard ! O no ! no !
        It is her largeness, and her overflow,
        Which being incomplete, disquieteth me so !

        IV

        For never touch of gladness stirs my heart,
        But tim'rously beginning to rejoice
        Like a blind Arab, that from sleep doth start
        In lonesome tent, I listen for thy voice.
        Belovйd ! 'tis not thine ; thou art not there !
        Then melts the bubble into idle air,
        And wishing without hope I restlessly despair.

        V

        The mother with anticipated glee
        Smiles o'er the child, that, standing by her chair
        And flatt'ning its round cheek upon her knee,
        Looks up, and doth its rosy lips prepare
        To mock the coming sounds. At that sweet sight
        She hears her own voice with a new delight ;
        And if the babe perchance should lisp the notes aright,

        VI

        Then is she tenfold gladder than before !
        But should disease or chance the darling take,
        What then avail those songs, which sweet of yore
        Were only sweet for their sweet echo's sake ?
        Dear maid ! no prattler at a mother's knee
        Was e'er so dearly prized as I prize thee :
        Why was I made for Love and Love denied to me ?

      Up

      The Dungeon

        (From his play Osorio, later called Remorse)

        (Act V, scene I)

        And this place our forefathers made for man !
        This is the process of our Love and Wisdom,
        To each poor brother who offends against us--
        Most innocent, perhaps--and what if guilty ?
        Is this the only cure ? Merciful God !
        Each pore and natural outlet shrivell'd up
        By Ignorance and parching Poverty,
        His energies roll back upon his heart,
        And stagnate and corrupt ; till chang'd to poison,
        They break out on him, like a loathsome plague-spot ;
        Then we call in our pamper'd mountebanks--
        And this is their best cure ! uncomforted
        And friendless Solitude, Groaning and Tears,
        And savage Faces, at the clanking hour,
        Seen through the steams and vapour of his dungeon,
        By the lamp's dismal twilight ! So he lies
        Circled with evil, till his very soul
        Unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deform'd
        By sights of ever more deformity !

        With other ministrations thou, O Nature !
        Healest thy wandering and distemper'd child :
        Thou pourest on him thy soft influences,
        Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets,
        Thy melodies of woods, and winds, and waters,
        Till he relent, and can no more endure
        To be a jarring and a dissonant thing,
        Amid this general dance and minstrelsy ;
        But, bursting into tears, wins back his way,
        His angry spirit heal'd and harmoniz'd
        By the benignant touch of Love and Beauty.

      Up

      The Exchange

        We pledged our hearts, my love and I,
        I in my arms the maiden clasping;
        I could not tell the reason why,
        But, O, I trembled like an aspen!

        Her father's love she bade me gain;
        I went, and shook like any reed!
        I strove to act the man---in vain!
        We had exchanged our hearts indeed.

      Up

      The Faded Flower

        Ungrateful he, who pluck'd thee from thy stalk,
        Poor faded flow'ret! on his careless way;
        Inhal'd awhile thy odours on his walk,
        Then onward pass'd and left thee to decay.
        Ah! melancholy emblem! had I seen
        Thy modest beauties dew'd with Evening's gem,
        I had not rudely cropp'd thy parent stem,
        But left thee, blushing, 'mid the enliven'd green.
        And now I bend me o'er thy wither'd bloom,
        And drop the tear - as Fancy, at my side,
        Deep-sighing, points the fair frail Abra's tomb -
        'Like thine, sad Flower, was that poor wanderer's pride!
        Oh! lost to Love and Truth, whose selfish joy
        Tasted her vernal sweets, but tasted to destroy!'

      Up

      The Garden Of Boccaccio

        Of late, in one of those most weary hours,
        When life seems emptied of all genial powers,
        A dready mood, which he who ne'er has known
        May bless his happy lot, I sate alone ;
        And, from the numbing spell to win relief,
        Call'd on the Past for thought of glee or grief.
        In vain ! bereft alike of grief and glee,
        I sate and cow'r'd o'er my own vacancy !
        And as I watch'd the dull continuous ache,
        Which, all else slumb'ring, seem'd alone to wake ;
        O Friend ! long wont to notice yet conceal,
        And soothe by silence what words cannot heal,
        I but half saw that quiet hand of thine
        Place on my desk this exquisite design.
        Boccaccio's Garden and its faery,
        The love, the joyaunce, and the gallantry !
        An Idyll, with Boccaccio's spirit warm,
        Framed in the silent poesy of form.

        Like flocks adown a newly-bathйd steep
        Emerging from a mist : or like a stream
        Of music soft that not dispels the sleep,
        But casts in happier moulds the slumberer's dream,
        Gazed by an idle eye with silent might
        The picture stole upon my inward sight.
        A tremulous warmth crept gradual o'er my chest,
        As though an infant's finger touch'd my breast.
        And one by one (I know not whence) were brought
        All spirits of power that most had stirr'd my thought
        In selfless boyhood, on a new world tost
        Of wonder, and in its own fancies lost ;
        Or charm'd my youth, that, kindled from above,
        Loved ere it loved, and sought a form for love ;
        Or lent a lustre to the earnest scan
        Of manhood, musing what and whence is man !
        ...
        And many a verse which to myself I sang,
        That woke the tear, yet stole away the pang,
        Of hopes, which in lamenting I renew'd :
        ...

        Thanks, gentle artist ! now I can descry
        Thy fair creation with a mastering eye,
        And all awake ! And now in fix'd gaze stand,
        Now wander through the Eden of thy hand ;
        ...
        I see no longer ! I myself am there,
        Sit on the ground-sward, and the banquet share.
        'Tis I, that sweep that lute's love-echoing strings,
        And gaze upon the maid who gazing sings :
        Or pause and listen to the tinkling bells
        From the high tower, and think that there she dwells.
        With old Boccaccio's soul I stand possest,
        And breathe an air like life, that swells my chest.
        ...

        Still in thy garden let me watch their pranks,
        ...
        With that sly satyr peeping through the leaves !

      Up

      The Good, Great Man

        "How seldom, friend! a good great man inherits
        Honour or wealth with all his worth and pains!
        It sounds like stories from the land of spirits
        If any man obtain that which he merits
        Or any merit that which he obtains."

        Reply to the Above

        For shame, dear friend, renounce this canting strain!
        What would'st thou have a good great man obtain?
        Place? titles? salary? a gilded chain?
        Or throne of corses which his sword had slain?
        Greatness and goodness are not means, but ends!
        Hath he not always treasures, always friends,
        The good great man? three treasures, LOVE, and LIGHT,
        And CALM THOUGHTS, regular as infant's breath:
        And three firm friends, more sure than day and night,
        HIMSELF, his MAKER, and the ANGEL DEATH!

      Up

      The Improvisatore

        Scene--A spacious drawing-room, with music-room adjoining.

        Katharine. What are the words ?

        Eliza. Ask our friend, the Improvisatore ; here he comes. Kate has a favour
        to ask of you, Sir ; it is that you will repeat the ballad [Believe me if
        all those endearing young charms.--EHC's ? note] that Mr. ____ sang so
        sweetly.

        Friend. It is in Moore's Irish Melodies ; but I do not recollect the
        words distinctly. The moral of them, however, I take to be this :--

        Love would remain the same if true,
        When we were neither young nor new ;
        Yea, and in all within the will that came,
        By the same proofs would show itself the same.

        Eliza. What are the lines you repeated from Beaumont and Fletcher, which my
        mother admired so much ? It begins with something about two vines so close
        that their tendrils intermingle.

        Friend. You mean Charles' speech to Angelina, in The Elder Brother.

        We'll live together, like two neighbour vines,
        Circling our souls and loves in one another !
        We'll spring together, and we'll bear one fruit ;
        One joy shall make us smile, and one grief mourn ;
        One age go with us, and one hour of death
        Shall close our eyes, and one grave make us happy.

        Katharine. A precious boon, that would go far to reconcile one to old
        age--this love--if true ! But is there any such true love ?

        Friend. I hope so.

        Katharine. But do you believe it ?

        Eliza (eagerly). I am sure he does.

        Friend. From a man turned of fifty, Katharine, I imagine, expects a
        less confident answer.

        Katharine. A more sincere one, perhaps.

        Friend. Even though he should have obtained the nick-name of
        Improvisatore, by perpetrating charades and extempore verses at
        Christmas times ?

        Eliza. Nay, but be serious.

        Friend. Serious ! Doubtless. A grave personage of my years giving a
        Love-lecture to two young ladies, cannot well be otherwise. The
        difficulty, I suspect, would be for them to remain so. It will be
        asked whether I am not the `elderly gentleman' who sate `despairing
        beside a clear stream', with a willow for his wig-block.

        Eliza. Say another word, and we will call it downright affectation.

        Katharine. No ! we will be affronted, drop a courtesy, and ask pardon for
        our presumption in expecting that Mr. ___ would waste his sense on two
        insignificant girls.

        Friend. Well, well, I will be serious. Hem ! Now then commences the
        discourse ; Mr. Moore's song being the text. Love, as distinguished
        from Friendship, on the one hand, and from the passion that too often
        usurps its name, on the other--

        Lucius (Eliza's brother, who had just joined the trio, in a whisper to the
        Friend). But is not Love the union of both ?

        Friend (aside to Lucius). He never loved who thinks so.

        Eliza. Brother, we don't want you. There ! Mrs. H. cannot arrange the
        flower vase without you. Thank you, Mrs. Hartman.

        Lucius. I'll have my revenge ! I know what I will say !

        Eliza. Off ! Off ! Now, dear Sir,--Love, you were saying--

        Friend. Hush ! Preaching, you mean, Eliza.

        Eliza (impatiently). Pshaw !

        Friend. Well then, I was saying that Love, truly such, is itself not
        the most common thing in the world : and that mutual love still less
        so. But that enduring personal attachment, so beautifully delineated
        by Erin's sweet melodist, and still more touchingly, perhaps, in the
        well-known ballad, `John Anderson, my Jo, John,' in addition to a
        depth and constancy of character of no every-day occurrence, supposes
        a peculiar sensibility and tenderness of nature ; a constitutional
        communicativeness and utterancy of heart and soul ; a delight in the
        detail of sympathy, in the outward and visible signs of the sacrament
        within--to count, as it were, the pulses of the life of love. But
        above all, it supposes a soul which, even in the pride and summer-tide
        of life--even in the lustihood of health and strength, had felt
        oftenest and prized highest that which age cannot take away and which,
        in all our lovings, is the Love ;----

        Eliza. There is something here (pointing to her heart) that seems to
        understand you, but wants the word that would make it understand itself.

        Katharine. I, too, seem to feel what you mean. Interpret the feeling for
        us.

        Friend. ---- I mean that willing sense of the insufficingness of the
        self for itself, which predisposes a generous nature to see, in the
        total being of another, the supplement and completion of its own
        ;--that quiet perpetual seeking which the presence of the beloved
        object modulates, not suspends, where the heart momently finds, and,
        finding, again seeks on ;--lastly, when `life's changeful orb has
        pass'd the full', a confirmed faith in the nobleness of humanity, thus
        brought home and pressed, as it were, to the very bosom of hourly
        experience ; it supposes, I say, a heartfelt reverence for worth, not
        the less deep because divested of its solemnity by habit, by
        familiarity, by mutual infirmities, and even by a feeling of modesty
        which will arise in delicate minds, when they are conscious of
        possessing the same or the correspondent excellence in their own
        characters. In short, there must be a mind, which, while it feels the
        beautiful and the excellent in the beloved as its own, and by right of
        love appropriates it, can call Goodness its Playfellow ; and dares
        make sport of time and infirmity, while, in the person of a
        thousand-foldly endeared partner, we feel for aged Virtue the
        caressing fondness that belongs to the Innocence of childhood, and
        repeat the same attentions and tender courtesies which had been
        dictated by the same affection to the same object when attired in
        feminine loveliness or in manly beauty.

        Eliza. What a soothing--what an elevating idea !

        Katharine. If it be not only an idea.

        Friend. At all events, these qualities which I have enumerated, are
        rarely found united in a single individual. How much more rare must it
        be, that two such individuals should meet together in this wide world
        under circumstances that admit of their union as Husband and Wife. A
        person may be highly estimable on the whole, nay, amiable as a
        neighbour, friend, housemate--in short, in all the concentric circles
        of attachment save only the last and inmost ; and yet from how many
        causes be estranged from the highest perfection in this ! Pride,
        coldness, or fastidiousness of nature, worldly cares, an anxious or
        ambitious disposition, a passion for display, a sullen temper,--one or
        the other--too often proves `the dead fly in the compost of spices',
        and any one is enough to unfit it for the precious balm of unction.
        For some mighty good sort of people, too, there is not seldom a sort
        of solemn saturnine, or, if you will, ursine vanity, that keeps itself
        alive by sucking the paws of its own self-importance. And as this high
        sense, or rather sensation of their own value is, for the most part,
        grounded on negative qualities, so they have no better means of
        preserving the same but by negatives--that is, but not doing or saying
        any thing, that might be put down for fond, silly, or nonsensical
        ;--or, (to use their own phrase) by never forgetting themselves, which
        some of their acquaintance are uncharitable enough to think the most
        worthless object they could be employed in remembering.

        Eliza (in answer to a whisper from Katharine). To a hair ! He must have
        sate for it himself. Save me from such folks ! But they are out of the
        question.

        Friend. True ! but the same effect is produced in thousands by the too
        general insensibility to a very important truth ; this, namely, that
        the MISERY of human life is made up of large masses, each separated
        from the other by certain intervals. One year, the death of a child ;
        years after, a failure in trade ; after another longer or shorter
        interval, a daughter may have married unhappily ;--in all but the
        singularly unfortunate, the integral parts that compose the sum total
        of the unhappiness of a man's life, are easily counted, and distinctly
        remembered. The HAPPINESS of life, on the contrary, is made up of
        minute fractions--the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss, a
        smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment in the disguise of a
        playful raillery, and the countless other infinitesimals of
        pleasurable thought and genial feeling.

        Katharine. Well, Sir ; you have said quite enough to make me despair of
        finding a `John Anderson, my Jo, John', with whom to totter down the hill
        of life.

        Friend. Not so ! Good men are not, I trust, so much scarcer than good
        women, but that what another would find in you, you may hope to find
        in another. But well, however, may that boon be rare, the possession
        of which would be more than an adequate reward for the rarest virtue.

        Eliza. Surely, he, who has described it so well, must have possessed it ?

        Friend. If he were worthy to have possessed it, and had believingly
        anticipated and not found it, how bitter the disappointment !

        (Then, after a pause of a few minutes),

        --------------------------------------
        ANSWER, ex improviso

        Yes, yes ! that boon, life's richest treat
        He had, or fancied that he had ;
        Say, 'twas but in his own conceit--
        The fancy made him glad !
        Crown of his cup, and garnish of his dish !
        The boon, prefigured in his earliest wish,
        The fair fulfilment of his poesy,
        When his young heart first yearn'd for sympathy !
        But e'en the meteor offspring of the brain
        Unnourished wane ;
        Faith asks her daily bread,
        And Fancy must be fed !
        Now so it chanced--from wet or dry,
        It boots not how--I know not why--
        She missed her wonted food ; and quickly
        Poor Fancy stagger'd and grew sickly.
        Then came a restless state, 'twixt yea and nay,
        His faith was fix'd, his heart all ebb and flow ;
        Or like a bark, in some half-shelter'd bay,
        Above its anchor driving to and fro.

        That boon, which but to have possess'd
        In a belief, gave life a zest--
        Uncertain both what it had been,
        And if by error lost, or luck ;
        And what is was ;--an evergreen
        Which some insidious blight had struck,
        Or annual flower, which, past its blow,
        No vernal spell shall e'er revive ;
        Uncertain, and afraid to know,
        Doubts toss'd him to and fro :
        Hope keeping Love, Love Hope alive,
        Like babes bewildered in a snow,
        That cling and huddle from the cold
        In hollow tree or ruin'd fold.

        Those sparkling colours, once his boast
        Fading, one by one away,
        Thin and hueless as a ghost,
        Poor Fancy on her sick bed lay ;
        Ill at distance, worse when near,
        Telling her dreams to jealous Fear !
        Where was it then, the sociable sprite,
        That crown'd the Poet's cup and deck'd his dish !
        Poor shadow cast from an unsteady wish,
        Itself a substance by no other right
        But that it intercepted Reason's light ;
        It dimm'd his eye, it darken'd on his brow,
        A peevish mood, a tedious time, I trow !
        Thank Heaven ! 'tis not so now.

        O bliss of blissful hours !
        The boon of Heaven's decreeing,
        While yet in Eden's bowers
        Dwelt the first husband and his sinless mate !
        The one sweet plant, which, piteous Heaven agreeing,
        They bore with them thro' Eden's closing gate !
        Of life's gay summer tide the sovran Rose !
        Late autumn's Amaranth, that more fragrant blows
        When Passion's flowers all fall or fade ;
        If this were ever his, in outward being,
        Or but his own true love's projected shade,
        Now that at length by certain proof he knows,
        That whether real or a magic show,
        Whate'er it was, it is no longer so ;
        Though heart be lonesome, Hope laid low,
        Yet, Lady ! deem him not unblest :
        The certainty that struck Hope dead,
        Hath left Contentment in her stead :
        And that is next to Best !

      Up

      The Knight's Tomb

        Where is the grave of Sir Arthur O'Kellyn?
        Where may the grave of that good man be?--
        By the side of a spring, on the breast of Helvellyn,
        Under the twigs of a young birch tree!
        The oak that in summer was sweet to hear,
        And rustled its leaves in the fall of the year,
        And whistled and roared in the winter alone,
        Is gone,--and the birch in its stead is grown.--
        The Knight's bones are dust,
        And his good sword rust;--
        His soul is with the saints, I trust.

      Up

      The Moon, How Definite Its Orb! (fragment)

        The Moon, how definite its orb!
        Yet gaze again, and with a steady gaze--
        'Tis there indeed,--but where is it not?--
        It is suffused o'er all the sapphire Heaven,
        Trees, herbage, snake-like stream, unwrinkled Lake,
        Whose very murmur does of it partake
        And low and close the broad smooth mountain
        Is more a thing of Heaven than when
        Distinct by one dim shade and yet undivided from the universal cloud
        In which it towers, finite in height.

      Up

      The Netherlands (Fragment)

        Water and windmills, greenness, Islets green;--
        Willows whose Trunks beside the shadows stood
        Of their own higher half, and willowy swamp:--
        Farmhouses that at anchor seem'd--in the inland sky
        The fog-transfixing Spires--
        Water, wide water, greenness and green banks,
        And water seen--

      Up

      The Nightingale

        No cloud, no relique of the sunken day
        Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip
        Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues.
        Come, we will rest on this old mossy bridge!
        You see the glimmer of the stream beneath,
        But hear no murmuring: it flows silently.
        O'er its soft bed of verdure. All is still.
        A balmy night! and though the stars be dim,
        Yet let us think upon the vernal showers
        That gladden the green earth, and we shall find
        A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.
        And hark! the Nightingale begins its song,
        'Most musical, most melancholy' bird!
        A melancholy bird? Oh! idle thought!
        In Nature there is nothing melancholy.
        But some night-wandering man whose heart was pierced
        With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,
        Or slow distemper, or neglected love,
        (And so, poor wretch! filled all things with himself,
        And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale
        Of his own sorrow) he, and such as he,
        First named these notes a melancholy strain.
        And many a poet echoes the conceit;
        Poet who hath been building up the rhyme
        When he had better far have stretched his limbs
        Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell,
        By sun or moon-light, to the influxes
        Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements
        Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song
        And of his fame forgetful! so his fame
        Should share in Nature's immortality,
        A venerable thing! and so his song
        Should make all Nature lovelier, and itself
        Be loved like Nature! But 'twill not be so;
        And youths and maidens most poetical,
        Who lose the deepening twilights of the spring
        In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still
        Full of meek sympathy must heave their sighs
        O'er Philomela's pity-pleading strains.

        My Friend, and thou, our Sister! we have learnt
        A different lore: we may not thus profane
        Nature's sweet voices, always full of love
        And joyance! 'Tis the merry Nightingale
        That crowds and hurries, and precipitates
        With fast thick warble his delicious notes,
        As he were fearful that an April night
        Would be too short for him to utter forth
        His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul
        Of all its music!
        And I know a grove
        Of large extent, hard by a castle huge,
        Which the great lord inhabits not; and so
        This grove is wild with tangling underwood,
        And the trim walks are broken up, and grass,
        Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths.
        But never elsewhere in one place I knew
        So many nightingales; and far and near,
        In wood and thicket, over the wide grove,
        They answer and provoke each other's song,
        With skirmish and capricious passagings,
        And murmurs musical and swift jug jug,
        And one low piping sound more sweet than all
        Stirring the air with such a harmony,
        That should you close your eyes, you might almost
        Forget it was not day! On moonlight bushes,
        Whose dewy leaflets are but half-disclosed,
        You may perchance behold them on the twigs,
        Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both bright and full,
        Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the shade
        Lights up her love-torch.
        A most gentle Maid,
        Who dwelleth in her hospitable home
        Hard by the castle, and at latest eve
        (Even like a Lady vowed and dedicate
        To something more than Nature in the grove)
        Glides through the pathways; she knows all their notes,
        That gentle Maid! and oft, a moment's space,
        What time the moon was lost behind a cloud,
        Hath heard a pause of silence; till the moon
        Emerging, a hath awakened earth and sky
        With one sensation, and those wakeful birds
        Have all burst forth in choral minstrelsy,
        As if some sudden gale had swept at once
        A hundred airy harps! And she hath watched
        Many a nightingale perch giddily
        On blossomy twig still swinging from the breeze,
        And to that motion tune his wanton song
        Like tipsy Joy that reels with tossing head.

        Farewell! O Warbler! till tomorrow eve,
        And you, my friends! farewell, a short farewell!
        We have been loitering long and pleasantly,
        And now for our dear homes.That strain again!
        Full fain it would delay me! My dear babe,
        Who, capable of no articulate sound,
        Mars all things with his imitative lisp,
        How he would place his hand beside his ear,
        His little hand, the small forefinger up,
        And bid us listen! And I deem it wise
        To make him Nature's play-mate. He knows well
        The evening-star; and once, when he awoke
        In most distressful mood (some inward pain
        Had made up that strange thing, an infant's dream)
        I hurried with him to our orchard-plot,
        And he beheld the moon, and, hushed at once,
        Suspends his sobs, and laughs most silently,
        While his fair eyes, that swam with undropped tears,
        Did glitter in the yellow moon-beam! Well!
        It is a father's tale: But if that Heaven
        Should give me life, his childhood shall grow up
        Familiar with these songs, that with the night
        He may associate joy. Once more, farewell,
        Sweet Nightingale! once more, my friends! farewell.

      Up

      The Pains Of Sleep

        Ere on my bed my limbs I lay,
        It hath not been my use to pray
        With moving lips or bended knees ;
        But silently, by slow degrees,
        My spirit I to Love compose,
        In humble trust mine eye-lids close,
        With reverential resignation,
        No wish conceived, no thought exprest,
        Only a sense of supplication ;
        A sense o'er all my soul imprest
        That I am weak, yet not unblest,
        Since in me, round me, every where
        Eternal Strength and Wisdom are.

        But yester-night I prayed aloud
        In anguish and in agony,
        Up-starting from the fiendish crowd
        Of shapes and thoughts that tortured me :
        A lurid light, a trampling throng,
        Sense of intolerable wrong,
        And whom I scorned, those only strong !
        Thirst of revenge, the powerless will
        Still baffled, and yet burning still !
        Desire with loathing strangely mixed
        On wild or hateful objects fixed.
        Fantastic passions ! maddening brawl !
        And shame and terror over all !
        Deeds to be hid which were not hid,
        Which all confused I could not know
        Whether I suffered, or I did :
        For all seemed guilt, remorse or woe,
        My own or others still the same
        Life-stifling fear, soul-stifling shame.

        So two nights passed : the night's dismay
        Saddened and stunned the coming day.
        Sleep, the wide blessing, seemed to me
        Distemper's worst calamity.
        The third night, when my own loud scream
        Had waked me from the fiendish dream,
        O'ercome with sufferings strange and wild,
        I wept as I had been a child ;
        And having thus by tears subdued
        My anguish to a milder mood,
        Such punishments, I said, were due
        To natures deepliest stained with sin,--
        For aye entempesting anew
        The unfathomable hell within,
        The horror of their deeds to view,
        To know and loathe, yet wish and do !
        Such griefs with such men well agree,
        But wherefore, wherefore fall on me ?
        To be beloved is all I need,
        And whom I love, I love indeed.

      Up

      The Poet In His Lone Yet Genial Hour

        The poet in his lone yet genial hour
        Gives to his eyes a magnifying power :
        Or rather he emancipates his eyes
        From the black shapeless accidents of size--
        In unctuous cones of kindling coal,
        Or smoke upwreathing from the pipe's trim bole,
        His gifted ken can see
        Phantoms of sublimity.

      Up

      The Presence Of Love

        And in Life's noisiest hour,
        There whispers still the ceaseless Love of Thee,
        The heart's Self-solace and soliloquy.
        ______________________

        You mould my Hopes, you fashion me within ;
        And to the leading Love-throb in the Heart
        Thro' all my Being, thro' my pulses beat ;
        You lie in all my many Thoughts, like Light,
        Like the fair light of Dawn, or summer Eve
        On rippling Stream, or cloud-reflecting Lake.
        And looking to the Heaven, that bends above you,
        How oft ! I bless the Lot, that made me love you.

      Up

      The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

        Part I

        It is an ancient Mariner,
        And he stoppeth one of three.
        'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
        Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

        The bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
        And I am next of kin;
        The guests are met, the feast is set:
        Mayst hear the merry din.'

        He holds him with his skinny hand,
        "There was a ship," quoth he.
        'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'
        Eftsoons his hand dropped he.

        He holds him with his glittering eye—
        The Wedding-Guest stood still,
        And listens like a three years' child:
        The Mariner hath his will.

        The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
        He cannot choose but hear;
        And thus spake on that ancient man,
        The bright-eyed Mariner.

        "The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
        Merrily did we drop
        Below the kirk, below the hill,
        Below the lighthouse top.

        The sun came up upon the left,
        Out of the sea came he!
        And he shone bright, and on the right
        Went down into the sea.

        Higher and higher every day,
        Till over the mast at noon—"
        The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
        For he heard the loud bassoon.

        The bride hath paced into the hall,
        Red as a rose is she;
        Nodding their heads before her goes
        The merry minstrelsy.

        The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,
        Yet he cannot choose but hear;
        And thus spake on that ancient man,
        The bright-eyed Mariner.

        "And now the storm-blast came, and he
        Was tyrannous and strong:
        He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
        And chased us south along.

        With sloping masts and dipping prow,
        As who pursued with yell and blow
        Still treads the shadow of his foe,
        And foward bends his head,
        The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
        And southward aye we fled.

        And now there came both mist and snow,
        And it grew wondrous cold:
        And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
        As green as emerald.

        And through the drifts the snowy clifts
        Did send a dismal sheen:
        Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken—
        The ice was all between.

        The ice was here, the ice was there,
        The ice was all around:
        It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
        Like noises in a swound!

        At length did cross an Albatross,
        Thorough the fog it came;
        As it had been a Christian soul,
        We hailed it in God's name.

        It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
        And round and round it flew.
        The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
        The helmsman steered us through!

        And a good south wind sprung up behind;
        The Albatross did follow,
        And every day, for food or play,
        Came to the mariner's hollo!

        In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
        It perched for vespers nine;
        Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
        Glimmered the white moonshine."

        'God save thee, ancient Mariner,
        From the fiends that plague thee thus!—
        Why look'st thou so?'—"With my crossbow
        I shot the Albatross."


        Part II

        "The sun now rose upon the right:
        Out of the sea came he,
        Still hid in mist, and on the left
        Went down into the sea.

        And the good south wind still blew behind,
        But no sweet bird did follow,
        Nor any day for food or play
        Came to the mariners' hollo!

        And I had done a hellish thing,
        And it would work 'em woe:
        For all averred, I had killed the bird
        That made the breeze to blow.
        Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
        That made the breeze to blow!

        Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
        The glorious sun uprist:
        Then all averred, I had killed the bird
        That brought the fog and mist.
        'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
        That bring the fog and mist.

        The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
        The furrow followed free;
        We were the first that ever burst
        Into that silent sea.

        Down dropped the breeze, the sails dropped down,
        'Twas sad as sad could be;
        And we did speak only to break
        The silence of the sea!

        All in a hot and copper sky,
        The bloody sun, at noon,
        Right up above the mast did stand,
        No bigger than the moon.

        Day after day, day after day,
        We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
        As idle as a painted ship
        Upon a painted ocean.

        Water, water, every where,
        And all the boards did shrink;
        Water, water, every where,
        Nor any drop to drink.

        The very deep did rot: O Christ!
        That ever this should be!
        Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
        Upon the slimy sea.

        About, about, in reel and rout
        The death-fires danced at night;
        The water, like a witch's oils,
        Burnt green, and blue, and white.

        And some in dreams assured were
        Of the Spirit that plagued us so;
        Nine fathom deep he had followed us
        From the land of mist and snow.

        And every tongue, through utter drought,
        Was withered at the root;
        We could not speak, no more than if
        We had been choked with soot.

        Ah! well-a-day! what evil looks
        Had I from old and young!
        Instead of the cross, the Albatross
        About my neck was hung."


        Part III

        "There passed a weary time. Each throat
        Was parched, and glazed each eye.
        A weary time! a weary time!
        How glazed each weary eye—
        When looking westward, I beheld
        A something in the sky.

        At first it seemed a little speck,
        And then it seemed a mist;
        It moved and moved, and took at last
        A certain shape, I wist.

        A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
        And still it neared and neared:
        As if it dodged a water-sprite,
        It plunged and tacked and veered.

        With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
        We could nor laugh nor wail;
        Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
        I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
        And cried, A sail! a sail!

        With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
        Agape they heard me call:
        Gramercy! they for joy did grin,
        And all at once their breath drew in,
        As they were drinking all.

        See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more!
        Hither to work us weal;
        Without a breeze, without a tide,
        She steadies with upright keel!

        The western wave was all a-flame,
        The day was well nigh done!
        Almost upon the western wave
        Rested the broad bright sun;
        When that strange shape drove suddenly
        Betwixt us and the sun.

        And straight the sun was flecked with bars,
        (Heaven's Mother send us grace!)
        As if through a dungeon-grate he peered
        With broad and burning face.

        Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
        How fast she nears and nears!
        Are those her sails that glance in the sun,
        Like restless gossameres?

        Are those her ribs through which the sun
        Did peer, as through a grate?
        And is that Woman all her crew?
        Is that a Death? and are there two?
        Is Death that Woman's mate?

        Her lips were red, her looks were free,
        Her locks were yellow as gold:
        Her skin was as white as leprosy,
        The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she,
        Who thicks man's blood with cold.

        The naked hulk alongside came,
        And the twain were casting dice;
        'The game is done! I've won! I've won!'
        Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

        The sun's rim dips; the stars rush out:
        At one stride comes the dark;
        With far-heard whisper o'er the sea,
        Off shot the spectre-bark.

        We listened and looked sideways up!
        Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
        My life-blood seemed to sip!
        The stars were dim, and thick the night,
        The steersman's face by his lamp gleamed white;
        From the sails the dew did drip—
        Till clomb above the eastern bar
        The horned moon, with one bright star
        Within the nether tip.

        One after one, by the star-dogged moon,
        Too quick for groan or sigh,
        Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
        And cursed me with his eye.

        Four times fifty living men,
        (And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
        With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
        They dropped down one by one.

        The souls did from their bodies fly,—
        They fled to bliss or woe!
        And every soul it passed me by,
        Like the whizz of my crossbow!"


        Part IV

        'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
        I fear thy skinny hand!
        And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
        As is the ribbed sea-sand.

        I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
        And thy skinny hand, so brown.'—
        "Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest!
        This body dropped not down.

        Alone, alone, all, all alone,
        Alone on a wide wide sea!
        And never a saint took pity on
        My soul in agony.

        The many men, so beautiful!
        And they all dead did lie;
        And a thousand thousand slimy things
        Lived on; and so did I.

        I looked upon the rotting sea,
        And drew my eyes away;
        I looked upon the rotting deck,
        And there the dead men lay.

        I looked to heaven, and tried to pray;
        But or ever a prayer had gusht,
        A wicked whisper came and made
        My heart as dry as dust.

        I closed my lids, and kept them close,
        And the balls like pulses beat;
        Forthe sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky,
        Lay like a load on my weary eye,
        And the dead were at my feet.

        The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
        Nor rot nor reek did they:
        The look with which they looked on me
        Had never passed away.

        An orphan's curse would drag to hell
        A spirit from on high;
        But oh! more horrible than that
        Is the curse in a dead man's eye!
        Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
        And yet I could not die.

        The moving moon went up the sky,
        And no where did abide:
        Softly she was going up,
        And a star or two beside—

        Her beams bemocked the sultry main,
        Like April hoar-frost spread;
        But where the ship's huge shadow lay,
        The charmed water burnt alway
        A still and awful red.

        Beyond the shadow of the ship
        I watched the water-snakes:
        They moved in tracks of shining white,
        And when they reared, the elfish light
        Fell off in hoary flakes.

        Within the shadow of the ship
        I watched their rich attire:
        Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
        They coiled and swam; and every track
        Was a flash of golden fire.

        O happy living things! no tongue
        Their beauty might declare:
        A spring of love gushed from my heart,
        And I blessed them unaware:
        Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
        And I blessed them unaware.

        The selfsame moment I could pray;
        And from my neck so free
        The Albatross fell off, and sank
        Like lead into the sea."


        Part V

        "Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,
        Beloved from pole to pole!
        To Mary Queen the praise be given!
        She sent the gentle sleep from heaven,
        That slid into my soul.

        The silly buckets on the deck,
        That had so long remained,
        I dreamt that they were filled with dew;
        And when I awoke, it rained.

        My lips were wet, my throat was cold,
        My garments all were dank;
        Sure I had drunken in my dreams,
        And still my body drank.

        I moved, and could not feel my limbs:
        I was so light—almost
        I thought that I had died in sleep,
        And was a blessed ghost.

        And soon I heard a roaring wind:
        It did not come anear;
        But with its sound it shook the sails,
        That were so thin and sere.

        The upper air burst into life!
        And a hundred fire-flags sheen,
        To and fro they were hurried about!
        And to and fro, and in and out,
        The wan stars danced between.

        And the coming wind did roar more loud,
        And the sails did sigh like sedge;
        And the rain poured down from one black cloud;
        The moon was at its edge.

        The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
        The moon was at its side:
        Like waters shot from some high crag,
        The lightning fell with never a jag,
        A river steep and wide.

        The loud wind never reached the ship,
        Yet now the ship moved on!
        Beneath the lightning and the moon
        The dead men gave a groan.

        They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,
        Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
        It had been strange, even in a dream,
        To have seen those dead men rise.

        The helmsman steered, the ship moved on;
        Yet never a breeze up blew;
        The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,
        Where they were wont to do;
        They raised their limbs like lifeless tools—
        We were a ghastly crew.

        The body of my brother's son
        Stood by me, knee to knee:
        The body and I pulled at one rope,
        But he said nought to me."

        'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!'
        "Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest!
        'Twas not those souls that fled in pain,
        Which to their corses came again,
        But a troop of spirits blest:

        For when it dawned—they dropped their arms,
        And clustered round the mast;
        Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,
        And from their bodies passed.

        Around, around, flew each sweet sound,
        Then darted to the sun;
        Slowly the sounds came back again,
        Now mixed, now one by one.

        Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
        I heard the skylark sing;
        Sometimes all little birds that are,
        How they seemed to fill the sea and air
        With their sweet jargoning!

        And now 'twas like all instruments,
        Now like a lonely flute;
        And now it is an angel's song,
        That makes the heavens be mute.

        It ceased; yet still the sails made on
        A pleasant noise till noon,
        A noise like of a hidden brook
        In the leafy month of June,
        That to the sleeping woods all night
        Singeth a quiet tune.

        Till noon we quietly sailed on,
        Yet never a breeze did breathe;
        Slowly and smoothly went the ship,
        Moved onward from beneath.

        Under the keel nine fathom deep,
        From the land of mist and snow,
        The spirit slid: and it was he
        That made the ship to go.
        The sails at noon left off their tune,
        And the ship stood still also.

        The sun, right up above the mast,
        Had fixed her to the ocean:
        But in a minute she 'gan stir,
        With a short uneasy motion—
        Backwards and forwards half her length
        With a short uneasy motion.

        Then like a pawing horse let go,
        She made a sudden bound:
        It flung the blood into my head,
        And I fell down in a swound.

        How long in that same fit I lay,
        I have not to declare;
        But ere my living life returned,
        I heard and in my soul discerned
        Two voices in the air.

        'Is it he?' quoth one, 'Is this the man?
        By him who died on cross,
        With his cruel bow he laid full low
        The harmless Albatross.

        The spirit who bideth by himself
        In the land of mist and snow,
        He loved the bird that loved the man
        Who shot him with his bow.'

        The other was a softer voice,
        As soft as honey-dew:
        Quoth he, 'The man hath penance done,
        And penance more will do.'


        Part VI

        First Voice

        But tell me, tell me! speak again,
        Thy soft response renewing—
        What makes that ship drive on so fast?
        What is the ocean doing?

        Second Voice

        Still as a slave before his lord,
        The ocean hath no blast;
        His great bright eye most silently
        Up to the moon is cast—

        If he may know which way to go;
        For she guides him smooth or grim.
        See, brother, see! how graciously
        She looketh down on him.

        First Voice

        But why drives on that ship so fast,
        Without or wave or wind?

        Second Voice

        The air is cut away before,
        And closes from behind.

        Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high!
        Or we shall be belated:
        For slow and slow that ship will go,
        When the Mariner's trance is abated.

        "I woke, and we were sailing on
        As in a gentle weather:
        'Twas night, calm night, the moon was high;
        The dead men stood together.

        All stood together on the deck,
        For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
        All fixed on me their stony eyes,
        That in the moon did glitter.

        The pang, the curse, with which they died,
        Had never passed away:
        I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
        Nor turn them up to pray.

        And now this spell was snapped: once more
        I viewed the ocean green,
        And looked far forth, yet little saw
        Of what had else been seen—

        Like one that on a lonesome road
        Doth walk in fear and dread,
        And having once turned round walks on,
        And turns no more his head;
        Because he knows a frightful fiend
        Doth close behind him tread.

        But soon there breathed a wind on me,
        Nor sound nor motion made:
        Its path was not upon the sea,
        In ripple or in shade.

        It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
        Like a meadow-gale of spring—
        It mingled strangely with my fears,
        Yet it felt like a welcoming.

        Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
        Yet she sailed softly too:
        Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze—
        On me alone it blew.

        Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
        The lighthouse top I see?
        Is this the hill? is this the kirk?
        Is this mine own country?

        We drifted o'er the harbour-bar,
        And I with sobs did pray—
        O let me be awake, my God!
        Or let me sleep alway.

        The harbour-bay was clear as glass,
        So smoothly it was strewn!
        And on the bay the moonlight lay,
        And the shadow of the moon.

        The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
        That stands above the rock:
        The moonlight steeped in silentness
        The steady weathercock.

        And the bay was white with silent light,
        Till rising from the same,
        Full many shapes, that shadows were,
        In crimson colours came.

        A little distance from the prow
        Those crimson shadows were:
        I turned my eyes upon the deck—
        Oh, Christ! what saw I there!

        Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
        And, by the holy rood!
        A man all light, a seraph-man,
        On every corse there stood.

        This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
        It was a heavenly sight!
        They stood as signals to the land,
        Each one a lovely light;

        This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
        No voice did they impart—
        No voice; but oh! the silence sank
        Like music on my heart.

        But soon I heard the dash of oars,
        I heard the Pilot's cheer;
        My head was turned perforce away,
        And I saw a boat appear.

        The Pilot and the Pilot's boy,
        I heard them coming fast:
        Dear Lord in heaven! it was a joy
        The dead men could not blast.

        I saw a third—I heard his voice:
        It is the Hermit good!
        He singeth loud his godly hymns
        That he makes in the wood.
        He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
        The Albatross's blood."


        Part VII

        "This Hermit good lives in that wood
        Which slopes down to the sea.
        How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
        He loves to talk with marineers
        That come from a far country.

        He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve—
        He hath a cushion plump:
        It is the moss that wholly hides
        The rotted old oak-stump.

        The skiff-boat neared: I heard them talk,
        'Why, this is strange, I trow!
        Where are those lights so many and fair,
        That signal made but now?'

        'Strange, by my faith!' the Hermit said—
        'And they answered not our cheer!
        The planks looked warped! and see those sails,
        How thin they are and sere!
        I never saw aught like to them,
        Unless perchance it were

        Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
        My forest-brook along;
        When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
        And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
        That eats the she-wolf's young.'

        'Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look—
        (The Pilot made reply)
        I am afeared'—'Push on, push on!'
        Said the Hermit cheerily.

        The boat came closer to the ship,
        But I nor spake nor stirred;
        The boat came close beneath the ship,
        And straight a sound was heard.

        Under the water it rumbled on,
        Still louder and more dread:
        It reached the ship, it split the bay;
        The ship went down like lead.

        Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound,
        Which sky and ocean smote,
        Like one that hath been seven days drowned
        My body lay afloat;
        But swift as dreams, myself I found
        Within the Pilot's boat.

        Upon the whirl where sank the ship
        The boat spun round and round;
        And all was still, save that the hill
        Was telling of the sound.

        I moved my lips—the Pilot shrieked
        And fell down in a fit;
        The holy Hermit raised his eyes,
        And prayed where he did sit.

        I took the oars: the Pilot's boy,
        Who now doth crazy go,
        Laughed loud and long, and all the while
        His eyes went to and fro.
        'Ha! ha!' quoth he, 'full plain I see,
        The Devil knows how to row.'

        And now, all in my own country,
        I stood on the firm land!
        The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,
        And scarcely he could stand.

        O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!
        The Hermit crossed his brow.
        'Say quick,' quoth he 'I bid thee say—
        What manner of man art thou?'

        Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
        With a woeful agony,
        Which forced me to begin my tale;
        And then it left me free.

        Since then, at an uncertain hour,
        That agony returns;
        And till my ghastly tale is told,
        This heart within me burns.

        I pass, like night, from land to land;
        I have strange power of speech;
        That moment that his face I see,
        I know the man that must hear me:
        To him my tale I teach.

        What loud uproar bursts from that door!
        The wedding-guests are there:
        But in the garden-bower the bride
        And bride-maids singing are;
        And hark the little vesper bell,
        Which biddeth me to prayer!

        O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been
        Alone on a wide wide sea:
        So lonely 'twas, that God himself
        Scarce seemed there to be.

        O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
        'Tis sweeter far to me,
        To walk together to the kirk
        With a goodly company!—

        To walk together to the kirk,
        And all together pray,
        While each to his great Father bends,
        Old men, and babes, and loving friends,
        And youths and maidens gay!

        Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
        To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
        He prayeth well, who loveth well
        Both man and bird and beast.

        He prayeth best, who loveth best
        All things both great and small;
        For the dear God who loveth us,
        He made and loveth all."

        The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
        Whose beard with age is hoar,
        Is gone; and now the Wedding-Guest
        Turned from the bridegroom's door.

        He went like one that hath been stunned,
        And is of sense forlorn:
        A sadder and a wiser man
        He rose the morrow morn.

      Up

      The Three Sorts Of Friends (Fragment)

        Though friendships differ endless in degree ,
        The sorts , methinks, may be reduced to three.
        Ac quaintance many, and Con quaintance few;
        But for In quaintance I know only two--
        The friend I've mourned with, and the maid I woo!

      Up

      This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison

        Well, they are gone, and here must I remain,
        This lime-tree bower my prison! I have lost
        Beauties and feelings, such as would have been
        Most sweet to my remembrance even when age
        Had dimm'd mine eyes to blindness! They, meanwhile,
        Friends, whom I never more may meet again,
        On springy heath, along the hill-top edge,
        Wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance,
        To that still roaring dell, of which I told ;
        The roaring dell, o'erwooded, narrow, deep,
        And only speckled by the mid-day sun ;
        Where its slim trunk the ash from rock to rock
        Flings arching like a bridge ;--that branchless ash,
        Unsunn'd and damp, whose few poor yellow leaves
        Ne'er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still,
        Fann'd by the water-fall! and there my friends
        Behold the dark green file of long lank weeds,
        That all at once (a most fantastic sight!)
        Still nod and drip beneath the dripping edge
        Of the blue clay-stone.

        Now, my friends emerge
        Beneath the wide wide Heaven--and view again
        The many-steepled tract magnificent
        Of hilly fields and meadows, and the sea,
        With some fair bark, perhaps, whose sails light up
        The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two Isles
        Of purple shadow! Yes! they wander on
        In gladness all ; but thou, methinks, most glad,
        My gentle-hearted Charles! for thou hast pined
        And hunger'd after Nature, many a year,
        In the great City pent, winning thy way
        With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pain
        And strange calamity! Ah! slowly sink
        Behind the western ridge, thou glorious Sun!
        Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb,
        Ye purple heath-flowers! richlier burn, ye clouds!
        Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves!
        And kindle, thou blue Ocean! So my friend
        Struck with deep joy may stand, as I have stood,
        Silent with swimming sense ; yea, gazing round
        On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem
        Less gross than bodily ; and of such hues
        As veil the Almighty Spirit, when yet he makes
        Spirits perceive his presence.

        A delight
        Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad
        As I myself were there! Nor in this bower,
        This little lime-tree bower, have I not mark'd
        Much that has sooth'd me.
        Pale beneath the blaze
        Hung the transparent foliage ; and I watch'd
        Some broad and sunny leaf, and lov'd to see
        The shadow of the leaf and stem above
        Dappling its sunshine! And that walnut-tree
        Was richly ting'd, and a deep radiance lay
        Full on the ancient ivy, which usurps
        Those fronting elms, and now, with blackest mass
        Makes their dark branches gleam a lighter hue
        Through the late twilight: and though now the bat
        Wheels silent by, and not a swallow twitters,
        Yet still the solitary humble-bee
        Sings in the bean-flower! Henceforth I shall know
        That Nature ne'er deserts the wise and pure ;
        No plot so narrow, be but Nature there,
        No waste so vacant, but may well employ
        Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart
        Awake to Love and Beauty! and sometimes
        'Tis well to be bereft of promis'd good,
        That we may lift the soul, and contemplate
        With lively joy the joys we cannot share.
        My gentle-hearted Charles! when the last rook
        Beat its straight path across the dusky air
        Homewards, I blest it! deeming its black wing
        (Now a dim speck, now vanishing in light)
        Had cross'd the mighty Orb's dilated glory,
        While thou stood'st gazing ; or, when all was still,
        Flew creeking o'er thy head, and had a charm
        For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles, to whom
        No sound is dissonant which tells of Life.

      Up

      Time, Real And Imaginary

        On the wide level of a mountain's head,
        (I knew not where, but 'twas some faery place)
        Their pinions, ostrich-like, for sails out-spread,
        Two lovely children run an endless race,
        A sister and a brother !
        This far outstripp'd the other ;
        Yet ever runs she with reverted face,
        And looks and listens for the boy behind :
        [Image] For he, alas ! is blind !
        O'er rough and smooth with even step he passed,
        And knows not whether he be first or last.

      Up

      To A Primrose

        The first seen in the season

        Nitens et roboris expers
        Turget et insolida est: et spe delectat.
        - Ovid, Metam. [xv.203].

        Thy smiles I note, sweet early Flower,
        That peeping from thy rustic bower
        The festive news to earth dost bring,
        A fragrant messenger of Spring.

        But, tender blossom, why so pale?
        Dost hear stern Winter in the gale?
        And didst thou tempt the ungentle sky
        To catch one vernal glance and die?

        Such the wan lustre Sickness wears
        When Health's first feeble beam appears;
        So languid are the smiles that seek
        To settle on the care-worn cheek,

        When timorous Hope the head uprears,
        Still drooping and still moist with tears,
        If, through dispersing grief, be seen
        Of Bliss the heavenly spark serene.

        And sweeter far the early blow,
        Fast following after storms of Woe,
        Than (Comfort's riper season come)
        Are full-blown joys and Pleasure's gaudy bloom.

      Up

      To A Young Ass

        Its mother being tethered near it

        Poor little Foal of an oppressиd race!
        I love the languid patience of thy face:
        And oft with gentle hand I give thee bread,
        And clap thy ragged coat, and pat thy head.
        But what thy dulled spirits hath dismay’d,
        That never thou dost sport along the glade?
        And (most unlike the nature of things young)
        That earthward still thy moveless head is hung?
        Do thy prophetic fears anticipate,
        Meek Child of Misery! thy future fate?
        The starving meal, and all the thousand aches
        ‘Which patient Merit of the Unworthy takes’?
        Or is thy sad heart thrill’d with filial pain
        To see thy wretched mother's shorten’d chain?
        And truly, very piteous is her lot -
        Chain’d to a log within a narrow spot,
        Where the close-eaten grass is scarcely seen,
        While sweet around her waves the tempting green!

        Poor Ass! they master should have learnt to show
        Pity - best taught by fellowship of Woe!
        For much I fear me that He lives like thee,
        Half famished in a land of Luxury!
        How askingly its footsteps hither bend?
        It seems to say, 'And have I then one friend?'
        Innocent foal! thou poor despis’d forlorn!
        I hail thee Brother - spite of the fool's scorn!
        And fain would take thee with me, in the Dell
        Of Peace and mild Equality to dwell,
        Where Toil shall call the charmer Health his bride,
        And Laughter tickle Plenty's ribless side!
        How thou wouldst toss thy heels in gamesome play,
        And frisk about, as lamb or kitten gay!
        Yea! and more musically sweet to me
        Thy dissonant harsh bray of joy would be,
        Than warbled melodies that soothe to rest
        The aching of pale Fashion's vacant breast!

      Up

      To Asra

        Are there two things, of all which men possess,
        That are so like each other and so near,
        As mutual Love seems like to Happiness?
        Dear Asra, woman beyond utterance dear!
        This Love which ever welling at my heart,
        Now in its living fount doth heave and fall,
        Now overflowing pours thro' every part
        Of all my frame, and fills and changes all,
        Like vernal waters springing up through snow,
        This Love that seeming great beyond the power
        Of growth, yet seemeth ever more to grow,
        Could I transmute the whole to one rich Dower
        Of Happy Life, and give it all to Thee,
        Thy lot, methinks, were Heaven, thy age, Eternity!

      Up

      To Nature

        It may indeed be fantasy when I
        Essay to draw from all created things
        Deep, heartfelt, inward joy that closely clings;
        And trace in leaves and flowers that round me lie
        Lessons of love and earnest piety.
        So let it be; and if the wide world rings
        In mock of this belief, it brings
        Nor fear, nor grief, nor vain perplexity.
        So will I build my altar in the fields,
        And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be,
        And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields
        Shall be the incense I will yield to Thee,
        Thee only God! and thou shalt not despise
        Even me, the priest of this poor sacrifice.

      Up

      To The Nightingale

        Sister of love-lorn Poets, Philomel!
        How many Bards in city garret pent,
        While at their window they with downward eye
        Mark the faint lamp-beam on the kennell'd mud,
        And listen to the drowsy cry of Watchmen
        (Those hoarse unfeather'd Nightingales of Time!),
        How many wretched Bards address thy name,
        And hers, the full-orb'd Queen that shines above.
        But I do hear thee, and the high bough mark,
        Within whose mild moon-mellow'd foliage hid
        Thou warblest sad thy pity-pleading strains.
        O! I have listen'd, till my working soul,
        Waked by those strains to thousand phantasies,
        Absorb'd hath ceas'd to listen! Therefore oft,
        I hymn thy name: and with a proud delight
        Oft will I tell thee, Minstrel of the Moon!
        'Most musical, most melancholy' Bird!
        That all thy soft diversities of tone,
        Tho' sweeter far than the delicious airs
        That vibrate from a white-arm'd Lady's harp,
        What time the languishment of lonely love
        Melts in her eye, and heaves her breast of snow,
        Are not so sweet as is the voice of her,
        My Sara - best beloved of human kind!
        When breathing the pure soul of tenderness,
        She thrills me with the Husband's promis'd name!

      Up

      To The Rev. George Coleridge

        A blessйd lot hath he, who having passed
        His youth and early manhood in the stir
        And turmoil of the world, retreats at length,
        With cares that move, not agitate the heart,
        To the same dwelling where his father dwelt;
        And haply views his tottering little ones
        Embrace those agйd knees and climb that lap,
        On which first kneeling his own infancy
        Lisp'd its brief prayer. Such, O my earliest Friend!
        Thy lot, and such thy brothers too enjoy.
        At distance did ye climb Life's upland road,
        Yet cheered and cheering: now fraternal love
        Hath drawn you to one centre. Be your days
        Holy, and blest and blessing may ye live!

        To me the Eternal Wisdom hath dispens'd
        A different fortune and more different mind—
        Me from the spot where first I sprang to light
        Too soon transplanted, ere my soul had fix'd
        Its first domestic loves; and hence through life
        Chasing chance-started friendships. A brief while
        Some have preserved me from life's pelting ills;
        But, like a tree with leaves of feeble stem,
        If the clouds lasted, and a sudden breeze
        Ruffled the boughs, they on my head at once
        Dropped the collected shower; and some most false,
        False and fair-foliag'd as the Manchineel,
        Have tempted me to slumber in their shade
        E'en mid the storm; then breathing subtlest damps,
        Mix'd their own venom with the rain from Heaven,
        That I woke poison'd! But, all praise to Him
        Who gives us all things, more have yielded me
        Permanent shelter; and beside one Friend,
        Beneath the impervious covert of one oak,
        I've rais'd a lowly shed, and know the names
        Of Husband and of Father; not unhearing
        Of that divine and nightly-whispering Voice,
        Which from my childhood to maturer years
        Spake to me of predestinated wreaths,
        Bright with no fading colours!
        Yet at times
        My soul is sad, that I have roam'd through life
        Still most a stranger, most with naked heart
        At mine own home and birth-place: chiefly then,
        When I remember thee, my earliest Friend!
        Thee, who didst watch my boyhood and my youth;
        Didst trace my wanderings with a father's eye;
        And boding evil yet still hoping good,
        Rebuk'd each fault, and over all my woes
        Sorrow'd in silence! He who counts alone
        The beatings of the solitary heart,
        That Being knows, how I have lov'd thee ever,
        Lov'd as a brother, as a son rever'd thee!
        Oh! 'tis to me an ever new delight,
        To talk of thee and thine: or when the blast
        Of the shrill winter, rattling our rude sash,
        Endears the cleanly hearth and social bowl;
        Or when, as now, on some delicious eve,
        We in our sweet sequester'd orchard-plot
        Sit on the tree crook'd earth-ward; whose old boughs,
        That hang above us in an arborous roof,
        Stirr'd by the faint gale of departing May,
        Send their loose blossoms slanting o'er our heads!

        Nor dost not thou sometimes recall those hours,
        When with the joy of hope thou gavest thine ear
        To my wild firstling-lays. Since then my song
        Hath sounded deeper notes, such as beseem
        Or that sad wisdom folly leaves behind,
        Or such as, tuned to these tumultuous times,
        Cope with the tempest's swell!

        These various strains,
        Which I have fram'd in many a various mood,
        Accept, my Brother! and (for some perchance
        Will strike discordant on thy milder mind)
        If aught of error or intemperate truth
        Should meet thine ear, think thou that riper Age
        Will calm it down, and let thy love forgive it!

      Up

      To The River Otter

        Dear native brook! wild streamlet of the West!
        How many various-fated years have passed,
        What happy and what mournful hours, since last
        I skimmed the smooth thin stone along thy breast,
        Numbering its light leaps! Yet so deep impressed
        Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes
        I never shut amid the sunny ray,
        But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,
        Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows grey,
        And bedded sand that, veined with various dyes,
        Gleamed through thy bright transparence! On my way,
        Visions of childhood! oft have ye beguiled
        Lone manhood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs:
        Ah! that once more I were a careless child!

      Up

      To William Wordsworth

        Friend of the Wise ! and Teacher of the Good !
        Into my heart have I received that Lay
        More than historic, that prophetic Lay
        Wherein (high theme by thee first sung aright)
        Of the foundations and the building up
        Of a Human Spirit thou hast dared to tell
        What may be told, to the understanding mind
        Revealable ; and what within the mind
        By vital breathings secret as the soul
        Of vernal growth, oft quickens in the heart
        Thoughts all too deep for words !--

        Theme hard as high !
        Of smiles spontaneous, and mysterious fears
        (The first-born they of Reason and twin-birth),
        Of tides obedient to external force,
        And currents self-determined, as might seem,
        Or by some inner Power ; of moments awful,
        Now in thy inner life, and now abroad,
        When power streamed from thee, and thy soul received
        The light reflected, as a light bestowed--
        Of fancies fair, and milder hours of youth,
        Hyblean murmurs of poetic thought
        Industrious in its joy, in vales and glens
        Native or outland, lakes and famous hills !
        Or on the lonely high-road, when the stars
        Were rising ; or by secret mountain-streams,
        The guides and the companions of thy way !

        Of more than Fancy, of the Social Sense
        Distending wide, and man beloved as man,
        Where France in all her towns lay vibrating
        Like some becalmйd bark beneath the burst
        Of Heaven's immediate thunder, when no cloud
        Is visible, or shadow on the main.
        For thou wert there, thine own brows garlanded,
        Amid the tremor of a realm aglow,
        Amid the mighty nation jubilant,
        When from the general heart of human kind
        Hope sprang forth like a full-born Diety !
        --Of that dear Hope afflicted and struck down,
        So summoned homeward, thenceforth calm and sure
        From the dread watch-tower of man's absolute self,
        With light unwaning on her eyes, to look
        Far on--herself a glory to behold,
        The Angel of the vision ! Then (last strain)
        Of Duty, chosen Laws controlling choice,
        Action and Joy !--An Orphic song indeed,
        A song divine of high and passionate thoughts
        To their own music chaunted !

        O great Bard !
        Ere yet that last strain dying awed the air,
        With stedfast eye I viewed thee in the choir
        Of ever-enduring men. The truly great
        Have all one age, and from one visible space
        Shed influence ! They, both in power and act,
        Are permanent, and Time is not with them,
        Save as it worketh for them, they in it.
        Nor less a sacred Roll, than those of old,
        And to be placed, as they, with gradual fame
        Among the archives of mankind, thy work
        Makes audible a linkйd lay of Truth,
        Of Truth profound a sweet continuous lay,
        Not learnt, but native, her own natural notes !
        Ah ! as I listened with a heart forlorn,
        The pulses of my being beat anew :
        And even as Life returns upon the drowned,
        Life's joy rekindling roused a throng of pains--
        Keen pangs of Love, awakening as a babe
        Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart ;
        And Fears self-willed, that shunned the eye of Hope ;
        And Hope that scarce would know itself from Fear ;
        Sense of past Youth, and Manhood come in vain,
        And Genius given, and Knowledge won in vain ;
        And all which I had culled in wood-walks wild,
        And all which patient toil had reared, and all,
        Commune with thee had opened out--but flowers
        Strewed on my corse, and borne upon my bier,
        In the same coffin, for the self-same grave !

        That way no more ! and ill beseems it me,
        Who came a welcomer in herald's guise,
        Singing of Glory, and Futurity,
        To wander back on such unhealthful road,
        Plucking the poisons of self-harm ! And ill
        Such intertwine beseems triumphal wreaths
        Strew'd before thy advancing !

        Nor do thou,
        Sage Bard ! impair the memory of that hour
        Of thy communion with my nobler mind
        By pity or grief, already felt too long !
        Nor let my words import more blame than needs.
        The tumult rose and ceased : for Peace is nigh
        Where Wisdom's voice has found a listening heart.
        Amid the howl of more than wintry storms,
        The Halcyon hears the voice of vernal hours
        Already on the wing.

        Eve following eve,
        Dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense of Home
        Is sweetest ! moments for their own sake hailed
        And more desired, more precious, for thy song,
        In silence listening, like a devout child,
        My soul lay passive, by thy various strain
        Driven as in surges now beneath the stars,
        With momentary stars of my own birth,
        Fair constellated foam, still darting off
        Into the darkness ; now a tranquil sea,
        Outspread and bright, yet swelling to the moon.

        And when--O Friend ! my comforter and guide !
        Strong in thyself, and powerful to give strength !--
        Thy long sustainйd Song finally closed,
        And thy deep voice had ceased--yet thou thyself
        Wert still before my eyes, and round us both
        That happy vision of belovйd faces--
        Scarce conscious, and yet conscious of its close
        I sate, my being blended in one thought
        (Thought was it ? or aspiration ? or resolve ?)
        Absorbed, yet hanging still upon the sound--
        And when I rose, I found myself in prayer.

      Up

      What Is Life?

        Resembles Life what once was held of Light,
        Too ample in itself for human sight?
        An absolute Self--an element ungrounded--
        All, that we see, all colours of all shade
        [Image]By encroach of darkness made?--
        Is very life by consciousness unbounded?
        And all the thoughts, pains, joys of mortal breath,
        A war-embrace of wrestling Life and Death?

      Up

      When Hope But Made Tranquillity Be Felt (Fragment)

        When Hope but made Tranquillity be felt--
        A Flight of Hopes for ever on the wing
        But made Tranquillity a conscious Thing--
        And wheeling round and round in sportive coil
        Fann'd the calm air upon the brow of Toil--

      Up

      Where Is The grave Of Sir Arthur O'Kellyn?

        In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
        A stately pleasure-dome decree :
        Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
        Through caverns measureless to man
        Down to a sunless sea.
        So twice five miles of fertile ground
        With walls and towers were girdled round :
        And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
        Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
        And here were forests ancient as the hills,
        Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

        But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
        Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !
        A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
        As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
        By woman wailing for her demon-lover !
        And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
        As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
        A mighty fountain momently was forced :
        Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
        Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
        Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :
        And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
        It flung up momently the sacred river.
        Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
        Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
        Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
        And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :
        And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
        Ancestral voices prophesying war !
        The shadow of the dome of pleasure
        Floated midway on the waves ;
        Where was heard the mingled measure
        From the fountain and the caves.
        It was a miracle of rare device,
        A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice !

        A damsel with a dulcimer
        In a vision once I saw :
        It was an Abyssinian maid,
        And on her dulcimer she played,
        Singing of Mount Abora.
        Could I revive within me
        Her symphony and song,
        To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
        That with music loud and long,
        I would build that dome in air,
        That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !
        And all who heard should see them there,
        And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
        His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
        Weave a circle round him thrice,
        And close your eyes with holy dread,
        For he on honey-dew hath fed,
        And drunk the milk of Paradise.

      Up

      Whom Should I Choose For My Judge? (Fragment)

        Whom should I choose for my Judge? the earnest, impersonal reader,
        Who, in the work, forgets me and the world and himself!

        Ye who have eyes to detect, and Gall to Chastise the imperfect,
        Have you the heart, too, that loves, feels and rewards the Compleat?

        What is the meed of thy Song? 'Tis the ceaseless, the thousandfold Echo
        Which from the welcoming Hearts of the Pure repeats and prolongs it,
        Each with a different Tone, compleat or in musical fragments.

      Up

      Work Without Hope

        All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair--
        The bees are stirring--birds are on the wing--
        And winter slumbering in the open air,
        Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
        And I, the while, the sole unbusy thing,
        Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.

        Yet well I ken the banks where Amaranths blow,
        Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.
        Bloom, O ye Amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
        For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
        With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll:
        And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
        Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve,
        And hope without an object cannot live.

      Up

      Youth And Age

        Verse, a Breeze 'mid blossoms straying,
        Where HOPE clung feeding, like a bee--
        Both were mine ! Life went a-maying
        With NATURE, HOPE, and POESY,
        [Image][Image]When I was young !

        When I was young ?--Ah, woful WHEN !
        Ah ! for the Change 'twixt Now and Then !
        This breathing House not built with hands,
        This body that does me grievous wrong,
        O'er жry Cliffs and glittering Sands,
        How lightly then it flashed along :--
        Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
        On winding lakes and rivers wide,
        That ask no aid of Sail or Oar,
        That fear no spite of Wind or Tide !
        Nought cared this Body for wind or weather
        When YOUTH and I lived in't together.

        FLOWERS are lovely ; LOVE is flower-like ;
        FRIENDSHIP is a sheltering tree ;
        O ! the Joys, that came down shower-like,
        Of FRIENDSHIP, LOVE, and LIBERTY,
        [Image] [Image] [Image] [Image] Ere I was old !

        Ere I was old ? Ah woful ERE,
        Which tells me, YOUTH'S no longer here !
        O YOUTH ! for years so many and sweet,
        'Tis known, that Thou and I were one,
        I'll think it but a fond conceit--
        It cannot be that Thou art gone !
        Thy Vesper-bell hath not yet toll'd :--
        And thou wert aye a Masker bold !
        What strange Disguise hast now put on,
        To make believe, that thou art gone ?
        I see these Locks in silvery slips,
        This drooping Gait, this altered Size :
        But SPRINGTIDE blossoms on thy Lips,
        And Tears take sunshine from thine eyes !
        Life is but Thought : so think I will
        That YOUTH and I are House-mates still.

        Dew-drops are the gems of morning,
        But the tears of mournful eve !
        Where no hope is, life's a warning
        That only serves to make us grieve,
        [Image][Image]When we are old :

        That only serves to make us grieve
        With oft and tedious taking-leave,
        Like some poor nigh-related guest,
        That may not rudely be dismist ;
        Yet hath outstay'd his welcome while,
        And tells the jest without the smile.

      Up

      Zapolya

        (Act II, Scene I, lines 65-80)

        A sunny shaft did I behold,
        From sky to earth it slanted :
        And poised therein a bird so bold--
        Sweet bird, thou wert enchanted !

        He sank, he rose, he twinkled, he trolled
        Within that shaft of sunny mist ;
        His eyes of fire, his beak of gold,
        All else of amethyst !

        And thus he sang : `Adieu ! adieu !
        Love's dreams prove seldom true.
        The blossoms they make no delay :
        The sparkling dew-drops will not stay.
        Sweet month of May,
        [Image] We must away ;
        [Image][Image] Far, far away !
        [Image][Image][Image] To-day ! to-day !'

        ----------------------------

        Hunting Song

        (Act IV, Scene II, lines 56-71)

        Up, up ! ye dames, ye lasses gay !
        To the meadows trip away.
        'Tis you must tend the flocks this morn,
        And scare the small birds from the corn.
        Not a soul at home may stay :
        For the shepherds must go
        With lance and bow
        To hunt the wolf in the woods to-day.

        Leave the hearth and leave the house
        To the cricket and the mouse :
        Find grannam out a sunny seat,
        With babe and lambkin at her feet.
        Not a soul at home must stay :
        For the shepherds must go
        With lance and bow
        To hunt the wolf in the woods to-day.

      Up

Page Views


Unknown Authors

Other links

   Other links
Great famous poets | Grandes poetas famosos | Contacto: Monika Lekanda