Samuel Taylor Coleridge

S
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Sonnet: On Receiving a Letter Informing Me of the Birth of a Son
When they did greet me Father, sudden Awe
Weigh'd down my spirit! I retired and knelt
Seeking the throne of grace, but inly felt
No heavenly visitation upwards draw
My feeble mind, nor cheering ray impart.
Ah me! before the Eternal Sire I brought
The unquiet silence of confused Thought
And shapeless feelings: my o'erwhelmed Heart
Trembled: & vacant tears stream'd down my face.
And now once more, O Lord! to thee I bend,
Lover of souls! and groan for future grace,
That, ere my Babe youth's perilous maze have trod,
Thy overshadowing Spirit may descend
And he be born again, a child of God!
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The Eolian Harp
composed at clevedon, somersetshire 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-flowered Jasmin, and the broad-leaved Myrtle,
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Epitaph
Stop, Christian passer-by!—Stop, child of God,
And read with gentle breast. Beneath this sod
A poet lies, or that which once seemed 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 asked, and hoped, through Christ. Do thou the same!
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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.

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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (text of 1834)
Argument

How a Ship having passed the Line was driven by storms to the cold Country towards the South Pole; and how from thence she made her course to the tropical Latitude of the Great Pacific Ocean; and of the strange things that befell; and in what manner the Ancyent Marinere came back to his own Country. PART I
It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
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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,
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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 bitch;
From her kennel beneath the rock
She 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.

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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 are 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,
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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
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Fragment 1: Sea-ward, white gleaming thro' the busy scud

Sea-ward, white gleaming thro' the busy scud
With arching Wings, the sea-mew o'er my head
Posts on, as bent on speed, now passaging
Edges the stiffer Breeze, now, yielding, drifts,
Now floats upon the air, and sends from far
A wildly-wailing Note.

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Fragment 10: The Three Sorts of Friends
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!

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Fragment 2: I know 'tis but a Dream, yet feel more anguish
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?

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Fragment 3: Come, come thou bleak December wind
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.

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Fragment 4: As some vast Tropic tree, itself a wood

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—

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Fragment 5: Whom should I choose for my Judge?
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.

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Fragment 6: The Moon, how definite its orb!

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.

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Fragment 7: When Hope but made Tranquillity be felt

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—

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Fragment 9: The Netherlands

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—

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France: An Ode
I
Ye Clouds! that far above me float and pause,
Whose pathless march no mortal may control!
Ye Ocean-Waves! that, wheresoe'er ye roll,
Yield homage only to eternal laws!
Ye Woods! that listen to the night-birds singing,
Midway the smooth and perilous slope reclined.
Save when your own imperious branches swinging,
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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,
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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!
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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,
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Inscription for a Fountain on a Heath
This Sycamore, oft musical with bees,—
Such tents the Patriarchs loved! O long unharmed
May all its agèd 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
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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.

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Kubla Khan
Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment. In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
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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,
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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
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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.

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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,
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Something Childish, but Very Natural
Written in Germany If I had but two little wings
And were a little feathery bird,
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This Lime-tree Bower my Prison
[Addressed to Charles Lamb, of the India House, London] Well, they are gone, and here must I remain,
This lime-tree bower my prison! I have lost
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Work without Hope
Lines Composed 21st February 1825 All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair—
The bees are stirring—birds are on the wing—
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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,
When I was young!

When I was young?—Ah, woful When!
Ah! for the change 'twixt Now and Then!
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