Like that great Spirit, who with plastic Of murky midnight ride the air sweep

sublime, Mov'd on the darkness of the formless And mingle foul embrace with fiends of Deep!

Hell :

Cold Horror drinks its blood ! Anon [SECOND VERSION, IN POEMS, 1796]

the tear

[tell My heart has thank'd thee, BOWLES ! for

More gentle starts, to hear the Beldame those soft strains

Of pretty babes, that loved each other Whose sadness soothes me, like the

dear, murmuring

Murder'd by cruel Uncle's mandate fell : Of wild-bees in the sunny showers of spring!

Even such the shivering joys thy tones For hence not callous to the mourner's

impart, pains

Even so thou, SIDDONS ! meltest my sad heart !

December 29, 1794. Through Youth's gay prime and thorn

less paths I went : And when the darker day of life

IX began,

TO WILLIAM GODWIN And I did roam, a thought-bewilder'd man,

AUTHOR OF POLITICAL JUSTICE Their mild and manliest melancholy lent

O FORM’D t illume a sunless world forA mingled charm, such as the pang

lorn, consign'd

As o'er the chill and dusky brow of To slumber, though the big tear it

Night, renew'd ;

In Finland's wintry skies the mimic Bidding a strange mysterious PLEA

morn 1 SURE brood

Electric pours a stream of rosy light, Over the wavy and tumultuous mind,

Pleased I have mark'd Oppression, As the great SPIRIT erst with plastic terror-pale, sweep

Since, thro' the windings of her dark Moy'd on the darkness of the unform'd

machine, deep.

Thy steady eye has shot its glances


And bade th' all-lovely scenes at disVIII

tance hail.' MRS. SIDDONS

Nor will I not thy holy guidance bless, As when a child on some long winter's And hymn thee, GODWIN ! with an night

ardent lay; Affrighted clinging to its Grandam's For that thy voice, in Passion's stormy

knees With eager wond’ring and perturb’u When wild I roam'd the bleak Heath of delight

Distress, Listens strange tales of fearful dark decrees

Bade the bright form of Justice meet my

wayMutter'd to wretch by necromantic spell; And told me that her name was HappiOr of those hags, who at the witching

January 10, 1795. time



1 Aurora Borealis.




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And sweet thy voice, as when o'er

Laura's bier

Sad music trembled thro' Vauclusa's OF BALIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD, AUTHOR

glade; OF THE RETROSPECT,' AND OTHER Sweet, as at dawn the love - lorn POEMS


That wafts soft dreams to Slumber's SOUTHEY ! thy melodies steal o'er mine

listening ear. ear Like far-off joyance, or the murmuring Now patriot Rage and Indignation high Of wild bees in the sunny showers of Swell the full tones ! And now thine Spring

eye-beams dance Sounds of such mingled import as may Meanings of Scorn and Wit's quaint cheer

revelry ! The lonely breast, yet rouse a mindful

Writhes inly from the bosom-probing

glance tear : Waked by the Song doth Hope-born The Apostate by the brainless rout Fancy fling

adored, Rich showers of dewy fragrance from As erst that elder Fiend beneath great her wing,

Michael's sword. Till sickly Passion's drooping Myrtles

January 29, 1795.

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1 Hymettus, a mountain of Attica famous for honey.

Pleading the cause of Nature! Still The path of Honour !—To thy Country


LINES true, Still watch th' expiring flame of Liberty !


CHOLY LETTER O Patriot! still pursue thy virtuous way,

Away, those cloudy looks, that labouring As holds his course the splendid Orb

sigh, of Day,

The peevish offspring of a sickly hour! Or thro’ the stormy or the tranquil sky!

Nor meanly thus complain of Fortune's ONE OF THE PEOPLE.

power, [Although the above Sonnet was not printed as

When the blind Gamester throws a luckone of the series of 'Sonnets on Eminent Char

less die. acters, I think there can be little doubt that it is by Coleridge, and was the original of the one Yon setting sun flashes a mournful gleam to Stanhope printed in the Poems in 1796 and Behind those broken clouds, his stormy 1803. Of the latter, which follows, I can find

train : no trace in the Morning Chronicle.--Ed.] To-morrow shall the many-coloured


In brightness roll beneath his orient TO EARL STANHOPE

beam ! NoT, STANHOPE! with the Patriot's

Wild, as the autumnal gust, the hand of doubtful name

Time I mock thy worth-Friend of the

Flies o'er his mystic lyre : in shadowy Human Race !

dance Since scorning Faction's low and par

The alternate groups of Joy and Grief tial aim

advance Aloof thou wendest in thy stately pace,

Responsive to his varying strains sublime ! Thyself redeeming from that leprous stain,

Bears on its wing each hour a load of Nobility : and aye unterrify'd

Fate; Pourest thine Abdiel warnings on the The swain, who, lulled by Seine's mild train

murmurs, led That sit complotting with rebellious His weary oxen to their nightly shed, pride

To-day may rule a tempest-troubled State. 'Gainst Herl who from the Almighty's Nor shall not Fortune with a vengeful bosom leapt

smile With whirlwind arm, fierce Minister Survey the sanguinary despot's might, of Love!

And haply hurl the pageant from his Wherefore, ere Virtue o'er thy tomb height hath wept,

Unwept to wander in some savage isle. Angels shall lead thee to the Throne above:

There shiv’ring sad beneath the tempest's

frown And thou from forth its clouds shalt hear Round his tired limbs to wrap the purple the voice,

vest; Champion of Freedom and her God! | And mixed with nails and beads, an equal rejoice!

jest ! i Gallic Liberty.

Barter for food, the jewels of his crown.


? 1795.


Ah ! cease thy tears and sobs, my little

Life! I did but snatch away the unclasped

knife : Some safer toy will soon arrest thine eye, And to quick laughter change this peevish

cry! Poor stumbler on the rocky coast of Woe, Tutored by pain each source of pain to

know ! Alike the foodful fruit and scorching fire Awake thy eager grasp and young desire ; Alike the Good, the Ill offend thy sight, And rouse the stormy sense of shrill

Affright! Untaught, yet wise! mid all thy brief

alarms Thou closely clingest to thy mother's

arms, Nestling thy little face in that fond breast Whose anxious heavings lull thee to thy

rest ! Man's breathing miniature ! thou mak'st

me sighA babe art thou—and such a Thing am I ! To anger rapid and as soon appeased, For trifles mourning and by trifles pleased, Break Friendship’s mirror with a tetchy

blow, Yet snatch what coals of fire on Pleasure's

altar glow! O thou that rearest with celestial aim The future Seraph in my mortal frame, Thrice holy Faith! whatever thorns I

meet As on I totter with unpractised feet, Still let me stretch my arms and cling to

thee, Meek nurse of souls through their long infancy !

? 1795.

I've made thro' Earth, and Air, and Sea,
A Voyage of Discovery !
And let me add (to ward off strife)
For V-ker and for V-ker's Wife-
She large and round beyond belief,
A superfluity of beef !
Her mind and body of a piece,
And both composed of kitchen-grease.
In short, Dame Truth might safely

dub her
Vulgarity enshrined in blubber !
He, meagre bit of littleness,
All snuff, and musk, and politesse ;
So thin, that strip him of his clothing,
He'd totter on the edge of Nothing !
In case of foe, he well might hide
Snug in the collops of her side.
Ah then what simile will suit ?
Spindle-leg in great jack-boot ?
Pismire crawling in a rut?
Or a spigot in a butt?
Thus I humm'd and ha'd awhile,
When Madam Memory with a smile
Thus twitch'd my ear-Why sure,

I ween, In London streets thou oft hast seen The very image of this pair : A little Ape with huge She-Bear Link'd by hapless chain together : An unlick'd mass the one—the other An antic huge with nimble crupper-But stop, my Muse! for here comes supper.

? 1795




1 IIUSH ! ye clamorous Cares ! be mute !

Again, dear Harmonist ! again Thro' the hollow of thy flute

Breathe that passion-warbled strain : Till Memory each form shall bring

The loveliest of her shadowy throng; And Hope, that soars on sky-lark wing,

Carol wild her gladdest song!

Tho'much averse, dear Jack, to flicker, To find a likeness for friend V-ker,

II O skill'd with magic spell to roll The thrilling tones, that concentrate the

soul ! Breathe thro' thy flute those tender notes

again, While near thee sits the chaste-eyed

Maiden mild ; And bid her raise the Poet's kindred

strain In soft impassion'd voice, correctly wild.

My Sara too shall tend thee, like a child : And thou shalt talk, in our fireside's

recess, Of purple Pride, that scowls on Wretched

ness. He did not so, the Galilæan mild, Who met the Lazars turned from rich

man's doors And called them Friends, and healed

their noisome sores ! ? 1795.


Sister of love-lorn Poets, Philomel ! How many Bards in city garret pent, While at their window they with down

ward eye

In Freedom's UNDIVIDED dell,
Where Toil and Health with mellow'd

Love shall dwell,
Far from folly, far from men,
In the rude romantic glen,
Up the cliff, and thro' the glade,
Wandering with the dear-loved maid,
I shall listen to the lay,

And ponder on thee far away
Still, as she bids those thrilling notes

aspire (Making my fond attuned heart her

lyre '), Thy honour'd form, my Friend ! shall re

appear, And I will thank thee with a raptured tear.

? 1795


Mark the faint lamp-beam on the ken

nell'd mud, And listen to the drowsy cry of Watch

men (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

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 ceased to listen ! There

fore 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


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Hoar with the snowy blast : while no

one cares To clothe thy shrivelled limbs and

palsied head. My Father! throw away this tattered

vest That mocks thy shivering ! take my

garment-use A young man's arm ! I'll melt these

frozen dews That hang from thy white beard and

numb thy breast.

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