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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 terror-pale, sweep
Since, thro' the windings of her dark Moy'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 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.
TO ROBERT SOUTHEY—TO LORD STANHOPE
And sweet thy voice, as when o'er
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.
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 !
TO A FRIEND IN ANSWER TO A MELAN
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.
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 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 !
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
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.
TO THE NIGHTINGALE
Sister of love-lorn Poets, Philomel ! How many Bards in city garret pent, While at their window they with down
Love shall dwell,
And ponder on thee far away
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.
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
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.