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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 !
Cold Horror drinks its blood ! Anon [SECOND VERSION, IN POEMS, 1796]
[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
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
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
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
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
Since, thro' the windings of her dark sweep Mov'd on the darkness of the unform'd
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
day, With eager wond’ring and perturb’ú When wild I roam'd the bleak Heath of delight
Distress, Listens strange tales of fearful dark
Bade the bright form of Justice meet my decrees
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.
TO ROBERT SOUTHEY
OF BALIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD, AUTHOR
OF THE “RETROSPECT,' AND OTHER
And sweet thy voice, as when o'er
serenade That wafts soft dreams to Slumber's
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
Writhes inly from the bosom-probing The lonely breast, yet rouse a mindful
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.
The path of Honour !-To thy Country
TO A FRIEND IN ANSWER TO A MELANStill 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
Fate ; Nobility : and aye unterrify'd 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
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.
TO AN INFANT
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 sigh A 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 !
I've made thro' Earth, and Air, and Sea,
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.
TO THE REV. W. J. HORT
WHILE TEACHING A YOUNG LADY SOME SONG-TUNES ON HIS FLUTE
WRITTEN AFTER A WALK BEFORE SUPPER
I HIUSH ! 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,
O skill'd with magic spell to roll
Maiden mild ;
My Sara too shall tend thee, like a child :
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 !
TO THE NIGHTINGALE
SISTER of love-lorn Poets, Philomel ! Where Toil and Health with mellow'd
How many Bards in city garret pent,
While at their window they with down-
Mark the faint lamp-beam on the ken-
And listen to the drowsy cry of Watch
men And ponder on thee far away Still, as she bids those thrilling notes
(Those hoarse unfeather'd Nightingales
of Time !), aspire ( Making my fond attuned heart her
How many wretched Bards address thy
name, lyre '), Thy honour'd form, my Friend ! shall re
And hers, the full-orb’d Queen that
shines above. appear, And I will thank thee with a raptured
But I do hear thee, and the high bough
Within whose mild moon - mellow'd
foliage hid CHARITY
Thou warblest sad thy pity - pleading
strains. Sweet Mercy! how my very heart has O! I have listen'd, till my working soul, bled
Waked by those strains to thousand To see thee, poor Old Man ! and thy phantasies,
Absorb'd hath ceased to listen! ThereHoar with the snowy blast : while no
fore oft, one cares
I hymn thy name : and with a proud To clothe thy shrivelled limbs and
delight palsied head.
Oft will I tell thee, Minstrel of the My Father! throw away this tattered
Moon ! vest
Most musical, most melancholy' Bird ! That mocks thy shivering ! take my That all thy soft diversities of tone, garment-use
Tho' sweeter far than the delicious airs A young man's arm ! I'll melt these That vibrate from a white-arm’d Lady's frozen dews
harp, That hang from thy white beard and What time the languishment of lonely numb thy breast.