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


Since, thro' the windings of her dark sweep Mov'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

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.





SOUTHEY ! thy melodies steal o'er mine

And sweet thy voice, as when o'er

Laura's bier
Sad music trembled thro' Vauclusa's

Sweet, as at dawn the love - lorn

serenade That wafts soft dreams to Slumber's

listening 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 !

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.

[blocks in formation]

The path of Honour !-To thy Country

LINES true,

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.

? 1795.

hath wept,


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 !

? 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




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
The thrilling tones, that concentrate the

soul !
Breathe thro' thy flute those tender notes

While near thee sits the chaste-eyed

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

In soft impassion’d voice, correctly wild.

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

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.

ward eye

? 1795.


In Freedom's UNDIVIDED dell,

SISTER of love-lorn Poets, Philomel ! Where Toil and Health with mellow'd

How many Bards in city garret pent,
Love shall dwell,
Far from folly, far from men,

While at their window they with down-
In the rude romantic glen,

Mark the faint lamp-beam on the ken-
Up the cliff, and thro' the glade,

nell'd mud,
Wandering with the dear-loved maid,
I shall listen to the lay,

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

mark, tear.

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.


grey hairs

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