[blocks in formation]

That sometimes from the savage den, She half enclosed me with her arms, And sometimes from the darksome shade She pressed me with a meek embrace ; And sometimes starting up at once

And bending back her head, looked up,
In green and sunny glade,-

And gazed upon my face.
There came and looked him in the face 'Twas partly love, and partly fear,
An angel beautiful and bright;
50 And partly 'twas a bashful art,

90 And that he knew it was a Fiend, That I might rather feel, than see, This miserable Knight !

The swelling of her heart. And that unknowing what he did,

I calmed her fears, and she was calm, IIe leaped amid a murderous band,

And told her love with virgin pride ; And saved from outrage worse than death

And so I won my Genevieve,
The Lady of the Land !

My bright and beauteous Bride.

1798-1799. And how she wept, and clasped his

And how she tended him in vain-
And ever strove to expiate

The scorn that crazed his brain ;- 60

And that she nursed him in a cave ; BENEATH yon birch with silver bark,
And how his madness went away, And boughs so pendulous and fair,
When on the yellow forest-leaves

The brook falls scatter'd down the rock : A dying man he lay ;

And all is mossy there !


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!

And there upon the moss she sits,
The Dark Ladié in silent pain ;
The heavy tear is in her eye,

And drops and swells again.

[blocks in formation]

"And in the eye of noon my love Shall lead me from my mother's door, 50 Sweet boys and girls all clothed in white

Strewing flowers before :
• But first the nodding minstrels go
With music meet for lordly bowers,
The children next in snow-white vests,

Strewing buds and flowers !
“And then my love and I shall pace,
My jet black hair in pearly braids,
Between our comely bachelors

And blushing bridal maids.' 60





[blocks in formation]

[Sent in a letter from Ratzeburg to the Wordsworths at Goslar in the winter of 1798-9. The seven lines beginning ‘O! what a life is the eye 'were printed in the edition of 1834, with the heading ‘Written during a temporary blindness in the year 1799.' 'When I was ill and wakeful (writes Coleridge) I composed some English 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, 1 Gently sustain them in air, and extend

ing the digit didactic, Rest it a moment on each of the forks of

the five-forkéd 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 hu

mouring recitativo; And, as I live, you will see my hexa

meters 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 stag-hounds, Breathless and panting, and ready to drop, yet flying still onwards, 2

1 False metre. 2 ' Still flying onwards' were perhaps er.

[blocks in formation]



I would full fain pull in my hard-mouthed Lives with a separate life, and “Is it runaway hunter;

the Spirit?' 1 he murmurs : But our English Spondeans are clumsy Sure it has thoughts of its own, and to yet impotent curb-reins ;

see is only its language.2 And so to make him go slowly, no way left have I but to lame him.

There was a great deal more, which

I have forgotten. ... The last line William, my head and my heart ! dear which I wrote, I remember, and write it Poet that feelest and thinkest!

for the truth of the sentiment, scarcely Dorothy, eager of soul, my most affec- less true in company than in pain and tionate sister !

solitude : Many a mile, O! many a wearisome William my head and my heart! dear mile are ye distant,

William and dear Dorothea ! Long, long comfortless roads, with no

You have all in each other ; but I am one eye that doth know us.

lonely, and want you ! O! it is all too far to send you mockeries

idle : Yea, and I feel it not right ! But O! my AD VILMUM AXIOLOGUM

friends, my beloved ! Feverish and wakeful I lie, -I am weary

[TO WILLIAM WORDSWORTH] of feeling and thinking.

This be the meed, that thy song creates Every thought is worn down, I am weary

a thousand-fold echo! yet cannot be vacant.

Sweet as the warble of woods, that Five long hours have I tossed, rheumatic awakes at the gale of the morning! heats, dry and flushing,

List! the Hearts of the Pure, like caves Gnawing behind in my head, and wan

in the ancient mountains dering and throbbing about me, Deep, deep in the Bosom, and from the Busy and tiresome, my friends, as the

Bosom resound it, heat of the boding night-spider.1 Each with a different tone, complete or

in musical fragmentsI forget the beginning of the line : All have welcomed thy Voice, and re

ceive and retain and prolong it! my eyes are a burthen, Now unwillingly closed, now open and

This is the word of the Lord ! it is aching with darkness.

spoken and Beings Eternal O! what a life is the eye ! what a fine 2 Live and are borne as an Infant, the and inscrutable essence !

Eternal begets the Immortal, Him that is utterly blind, nor glimpses Love is the Spirit of Life, and Music the the fire that warms him ;

Life of the Spirit ! ? 1805.

MS. Him that never beheld the swelling breast

of his mother ; Him that ne'er smiled at the bosom as HYMN TO THE EARTH babe that smiles in its slumber ; 3

[IMITATED FROM STOLBERG'S HYMNE Even to 4 him it exists, it stirs and

AN DIE ERDE] moves 5 in its prison ;

HEXAMETERS 1 False metre. 2 [Strange. 1834. Ed.]

EARTH! thou mother of numberless chil3 [Him that smiled in his gladness as a babe that smiles in its slumber. 1834. Ed.]

dren, the nurse and the mother, 4 [For. 1834: Ed.]

1 [A spirit. 1834. Ed.] 5 [Moves and stirs. 1834. Ed.]

2 [A language. 1834. Ed.]


[ocr errors]

? 1799.

Hail ! O Goddess, thrice hail ! Blest be Fair was thy blush, the fairest and first thou ! and, blessing, I hymn thee !

of the blushes of morning! Forth, ye sweet sounds ! from my harp, Deep was the shudder, O Earth! the and my voice shall float on your

throe of thy self-retention : surges

Inly thou strovest to flee, and didst seek Soar thou aloft, O my soul ! and bear up

thyself at thy centre ! my song on thy pinions.

Mightier far was the joy of thy sudden

resilience; and forthwith Travelling the vale with mine eyes Myriad myriads of lives teem'd forth from green meadows and lake with

the mighty embracement. green island,

Thousand-fold tribes of dwellers, impellid Dark in its basin of rock, and the bare

by thousand-fold instincts, stream flowing in brightness, Filld, as a dream, the wide waters; the Thrill'd with thy beauty and love in the

rivers sang on their channels; wooded slope of the mountain, Laugh'd on their shores the hoarse seas ; Here, great mother, I lie, thy child, with

the yearning ocean swellid uphis head on thy bosom !

ward ; Playful the spirits of noon, that rushing Young life low'd through the meadows, soft through thy tresses,

the woods, and the echoing mounGreen-hair'd goddess ! refresh me; and

tains, hark! as they hurry or linger, Wander'd bleating in valleys, and warbled Fill the pause of my harp, or sustain it on blossoming branches.

with musical murmurs. Into my being thou murmurest joy, and tenderest sadness

MAHOMET Shedd'st thou, like dew, on my heart, till

the joy and the heavenly sadness UTTER the song, O my soul ! the flight Pour themselves forth from my heart in

and return of Mohammed, tears, and the hymn of thanks- Prophet and priest, who scatter'd abroad giving

both evil and blessing,

Huge wasteful empires founded and Earth! thou mother of numberless chil

hallow'd slow persecution, dren, the nurse and the mother, Soul-withering, but crush'd the blasSister thou of the stars, and beloved by

phemous rites of the Pagan the Sun, the rejoicer !

And idolatrous Christians.-For veiling Guardian and friend of the moon, O

the Gospel of Jesus, Earth, whom the comets forget They, the best corrupting, had made it not,

worse than the vilest. Yea, in the measureless distance wheel Wherefore Heaven decreed th' enthuround and again they behold thee!

siast warrior of Mecca, Fadeless and young (and what if the Choosing good from iniquity rather than latest birth of creation ?)

evil from goodness. Bride and consort of Heaven, that looks Loud the tumult in Mecca surrounding down upon thee enamour'd!

the fane of the idol :Say, mysterious Earth! O say, great Naked and prostrate the priesthood were mother and goddess,

laid--the people with mad shouts Was it not well with thee then, when first Thundering now, and now with saddest thy lap was ungirdled,

ululation Thy lap to the genial Heaven, the day Flew, as over the channel of rock-stone that he woo'd thee and won thee!

the ruinous river

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

stride ;

HEAR, my beloved, an old Milesian

story ! High, and embosom'd in congregated


Glimmer'd a temple upon a breezy head-

TrochĚE trīps from long to short ;
In the dim distance amid the skiey billows
Rose a fair island; the god of flocks had

From long to long in solemn sort
blest it.

Slow Spondēe stālks ; strong foot ! yea

ill able From the far shores of the bleat-resound. Ēvěr tě cõme úp with Dāctội trịing island

syllăblē. Oft by the moonlight a little boat came

Zambics march from shört tỏ lỡng;floating, Came to the sea-cave beneath the breezy

With ă leap ănd à bound thể swift headland,

Anăpäests thrūng ; Where amid myrtles a pathway stole in

One syllable long, with one short at each

side, mazes Up to the groves of the high embosom’d Åmphībrăchýs hāstes with ă stātely

temple. There in a thicket of dedicated roses,

First ănd last being lông, middle shört, Oft did a priestess, as lovely as a vision,

Amphľmācer Pouring her soul to the son of Cytherea,

Strīkes his thūndērăng houfs like ă proud Pray him to hover around the slight If Derwent be innocent, steady, and

hīgh-bred Rācer. canoe-boat, And with invisible pilotage to guide it


And delight in the things of earth, water, Over the dusk wave, until the nightly

and skies; sailor

Tender warmth at his heart, with these Shivering with ecstasy sank upon her bosom.

metres to show it, With sound sense in his brains, may

make Derwent a poet,

May crown him with fame, and must THE HOMERIC HEXAMETER

win him the love

Of his father on earth and his Father DESCRIBED ANI) EXEMPLIFIED


My dear, dear child ! STRONGLY it bears us along in swelling Could you stand upon Skiddaw, you and limitless billows,

would not from its whole ridge Nothing before and nothing behind but See a man who so loves you as your the sky and the ocean.

? 1799.



? 1799.

« VorigeDoorgaan »