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Royal Institution, in the spring of 1808; in one this question, and always will do so, when it is of which he astonished his auditory by thanking recollected what he has had the power to effect. his Maker, in the most serious manner, for so or- It will not forgive him for writing upon party, ind dering events, that he was totally ignorant of a in support of principles that even now are pretty single word of “that frightful jargon, the French nearly exploded, “what was meant for mankind.” language!" And yet, notwithstanding this public Coleridge mistook his walk when he set up for a avowal of his entire ignorance of the language, politician, and it is to be feared the public have a Mr. C. is said to have been in the habit, while great deal to regret on account of it. He vill not conversing with his friends, of expressing the ut- be known hereafter by his Morning Post articles, most contempt for the literature of that country! but by his verses. Whatever pains his political
Whelmed in the wild mazes of metaphysics, papers may have cost him, and from his own ac. and for ever mingling its speculations with all he count they were laboriously composed, they will does or says, Coleridge has of late produced nothing avail him nothing with posterity. The verses of equal to the power of his pen. A few verses in an Coleridge give him his claim to lasting celebrity, annual, or a sonnet in a magazine, are the utmost and it is in vain that he would have the world of his efforts. He resides at Hampstead, in the think otherwise. He says, “Would hat the cri. house of a friend having a good garden, where he terion of a scholar's utility were the number and walks for hours together enwrapped in visions of moral value of the truths which he nas been the new theories of theology, or upon the most abstruse means of throwing into the general arculation, or of meditations. He goes into the world at times, to the number and value of the minds whom, by his the social dinner-party, where he gratifies his self-conversation or letters, he has excited into activity, love by pouring out the stores of his mind in con- and supplied with the germs of their after-growth! versation to admiring listeners. Were he not apt A distinguished rank might not indeed then be to be too profound, he would make an excellent awarded to my exertions, but I should dare look talker, or rather un grand causeur for a second forward to an honorable acquittal.” Madame de Sévigné, if such an accomplished fe. In temper and disposition Coleridge is kind and male is to be found in the nineteenth century, amiable. His person is bulky and his physiogeither in England or France. The fluency of nomy is heavy, but his eye is remarkably fine; Coleridge's language, the light he throws upon and neither envy nor uncharitableness have his subjects, and the pleasure he feels in commu- made any successful impression in attacking his nicating his ideas, and his knowledge, innate or moral character. His family have long resided acquired, are equally remarkable to the stranger. with Mr. Southey's in the north of England; the He has been accused of indolence, not perhaps narrow pecuniary circumstances of our poet are with reason: the misdirection of his distinguished assigned as the reason. It is ardently desired talents would be a better explanation of that for by all lovers of the Muses, that the author of the which he has been blamable. · He attempts to“ Ancient Mariner,” and of “Genevieve,” may justify himself on the score of quantity, by assert- see life protracted to a green old age, and yet ing that some of his best things were published in produce works which may rival those of his denewspapers. The world differs with him upon parted years.
SANUEL T. COLERIDGE.
impelled to seek for sympathy; but a Poet's feelings
are all strong. Quicquid amet valde amat. Akenside COMPOSITIONS resembling those here collected are
therefore speaks with philosophical accuracy when mot unfrequently condemned for their querulous
he classes Love and Poetry, as producing the same
effects : Egoism. But Egotism is to be condemned then only when it offends against time and place, as in a His
Love and the wish of Poets when their tongue tory or an Epic Poem. To censure it in a Monody
Would teach to others' bosoms, what so charins
Their own. or Sonnet is almost as absurd as to dislike a circle
Pleasures of Imagination. for being round. Why then write Sonnets or Mono
There is one species of Egotism which is truly dies? Because they give me pleasure when perhaps disgusting; not that which leads us to communicate nothing else could. After the more violent emotions our feelings to others but that which would reduce of Sorrow, the mind demands amusement, and can the feelings of others to an identity with our own. find it in employment alone : but, full of its late suf The Atheist, who exclaims “ pshaw!” when he ferings, it can endure no employment not in some glances his eye on the praises of Deity, is an Egotist : measure connected with them. Forcibly to turn an old man, when he speaks contemptuously of Loveaway our attention to general subjects is a painful verses, is an Egotist: and the sleek Favorites of and most often an unavailing effort.
Fortune are Egotists, when they condemn all “ melBut O! how grateful to a wounded heart
ancholy, discontented” verses. Surely, it would be The tale of Misery to impart
candid not merely to ask whether the poem pleases From others' eyes bid artless sorrows flow, And raise esteem upon the base of Woe!
ourselves, but to consider whether or no there may
Sharo. not be others, to whom it is well calculated to give The communicativeness of our Nature leads us to an innocent pleasure. describe our own sorrows; in the endeavor to de I shall only add, that each of my readers will, I scribe them, intellectual activity is exerted; and hope, remember, that these Poems on various subfrom intellectual activity there results a pleasure, jects, which he reads at one time and under the inwhich is gradually associated, and mingles as a cor- fluence of one set of feelings, were written at differrective, with the painful subject of the description. ent times and prompted by very different feelings ; ** True!" (it may be answered) “ but how are the and therefore that the supposed inferiority, of one Public interested in your sorrows or your Descrip- Poem to another may sometimes be owing to the tion ?" We are for ever attributing personal Unities temper of mind in which he happens to peruse it. to imaginary Aggregates. What is the Public, but a term for a number of scattered individuals ? of whom My poems have been rightly charged with a proas many will be interested in these sorrows, as have fusion of double-epithets, and a general turgidness. experienced the same or similar.
I have pruned the double-epithets with no sparing Holy be the lay
hand ; and used my best efforts to tame the swell Wuch mourning soothes the mourner on his way. and glitter both of thought and diction.* This latter If I could judge of others by myself, I should not hesitate to affirm, that the most interesting passages
Without any feeling of anger, I may yet be allowed to are those in which the Author develops his own express some degree of surprise, that after having run the feelings! The sweet voice of Cona* never sounds
critical gauntlet for a certain class of faults, which I had, viz.
a too ornate and elaborately poetic diction, and nothing havso sweetly, as when it speaks of itself; and I should ing come before the judgmont-seat of the Reviewers during almost suspect that man of an unkindly heart, who the long interval, I should for at least seventeen years, quarter could read the opening of the third book of the Para- after quarter, have been placed by them in the foremost rank dise Lost without peculiar emotion. By a Law of our ridicule for faults directly opposite, viz. bald and prosaic lan
of the proscribed, and made to abide the brunt of abuse and Nature, he, who labors under a strong feeling, is guage, and an affected simplicity both of matter and manner
--faults which assuredly did not enter into the character of • Oasian.
my compositions.--Literary Life, i. 51. Published 1817.
fault however had insinuated itself into my Religious And when thou lovest thy pale orb to shroud
I expect neither profit nor general fame by my writings ; and I consider myself as having been
MONODY ON THE DEATH OF amply repaid without either. Poetry has been to me its own “ exceeding great reward :” it has soothed
CHATTERTON. my afflictions; it has multiplied and refined my enjoyments; it has endeared solitude : and it has given O what a wonder seems the fear of death, me the habit of wishing to discover the Good and Seeing how gladly we all sink to sleep, the Beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me. Babes, Children, Youths and Men,
S. T. C. Night following night for threescore years and ten!
But doubly strange, where life is but a breath
To sigh and pant with, up Want's rugged steep.
Away, Grim Phantom! Scorpion King, away.!
Reserve thy terrors and thy stings display
For coward Wealth and Guilt in robes of state!
Lo! by the grave I stand of one, for whom
(That all bestowing, this withholding all) Your eye is like the star of eve,
Made each chance knell from distant spire or dome
Return, poor Child! Home, weary Truant, home!
From want, and the bleak freezings of neglect.
Too long before the vexing Storm-blast driven, Beholds no hand outstretch'd to save,
Flere hast thou found repose! beneath this sod! Fair, as the bosom of the swan
Thou! O vain word! Thou dwell'st not with the clod!
Amid the shining Host of the Forgiven
(Believe it, O my soul!) to harps of Seraphim.
Is this the land of song-ennobled line ?
But that Despair and Indignation rose,
And told again the story of thy woes;
Told the keen insult of the unfeeling heart;
Told every pang, with which thy soul must smart, His weary limbs in lonely anguish laid.
Neglect, and grinning Scorn, and Want combined ! And o'er her darling dead
Recoiling quick, thou bad 'st the friend of pain Pity hopeless hurg her head,
Roll the black tide of Death through every freezing While “ 'mid the pelting of that merciless storm,"
vein! Sunk to the cold earth Otway's famish'd form!
Ye woods! that wave o'er Avon's rocky steep, Sublime of thought, and confident of fame,
To Fancy's ear sweet is your murmuring deep! From vales where Avon winds, the Minstrel* came. For here she loves the cypress wreath to weave,
Light-hearted youth! aye, as he hastes along, Watching, with wistful eye, the saddening tints of eve.
Here, far from men, amid this pathless grove,
In solemn thought the Minstrel wont to rove,
Like star-boam on the slow sequester'd tide
Lone-glittering, through the high tree branching wide. Exulting in the spirits' genial throe,
And here, in Inspiration's eager hour, In tides of power his life-blood seems to flow.
When most the big soul feels the mastering power,
These wilds, these caverns roaming o'er,
Round which the screaming sea-gulls soar, And now his cheeks with deeper ardors flame,
With wild unequal seps he pass d along, His eyes have glorious meanings, that declare
Oft pouring on the winds a broken song : More than the light of outward day shines there,
Anon, upou some rough rock's fearful brow A holier triumph and a sterner aim!
Would pause abrupt—and gaze upon the waves Wings grow within him; and he soars above
Who would have praised and loved thee, ere too
late. And young and old shall now see happy days.
Poor Chatterton! farewell ! of darkest hues
This chaplet cart I on thy unshaped womb;
But dare no longer on the sad theme muse,
Lest kindred woes persuade a kindred doom :
Have blacken'd the fair promise of my spring ;
Ilence, gloomy thoughts! no more my soul shall From the hard world brief respite could they win
dwell The frost nipp'd sharp without, the canker prey'd Jon joys that were ! No more endure to weigh within!
The shame and anguish of the evil day,
Wisely forgetful! O'er the ocean swell
Where Virtue calm with careless step may stray, Thy wasted form, thy hurried steps, I view, On thy wan forehead starts the lethal dew,
And, dancing to the moon-light roundelay,
The wizard Passions weave a holy spell! And oh! the anguish of that shuddering sigh!
O Chatterton! that thou wert yet alive! Such were the struggles of the gloomy hour,
Sure thou wouldst spread the canvas to the gale, When Care, of wither'd brow,
And love with us the tinkling team to drive Prepar'd the poison's death-cold power:
O'er peaceful Freedom's undivided dale ; Already to thy lips was raised the bowl,
And we, at sober eve, would round thee throng, When near thee stood Affection meek
Hanging, enraptured, on thy stately song ! (Her bosom bare, and wildly pale her cheek,)
And greet with smiles the young-eyed Poesy
All defily mask'd, as hoar Antiquity.
Alas vain Phantasies ! the fleeting brood
Of Woe self-solaced in her dreamy mood ! Thy Sister's shrieks she bade thee hear,
Yet will I love to follow the sweet dream,
Where Susquehannah pours his untamed stream ;
Waves o'er the murmurs of his calmer tide,
Will raise a solemn Cenotaph to thee, And thou hadst dash'd it, at her soft command,
Sweet Harper of time-shrouded Minstrelsy!
And there, soothed sadly hy the dirgeful wind, * Avon, a river near Bristol; the birthplace of Chatterton. Muse on the sore ills I had left behind.
O'er his hush'd soul our soothing witcheries shed,
SONGS OF THE PIXIES.
V. . The Pixies, in the superstition of Devonshire, are a race of
When Evening's dusky car, beings invisibly small, and harmless or friendly to man. At a
Crown'd with her dewy star, small distance from a village in that county, half-way up a wood-covered hill, is an excavation called the Pixies' Parlor. Steals o'er the fading sky in shadowy flight, The roots of old trees form its ceiling; and on its sides are
On leaves of aspen trees innumerable ciphers, among which the author discovered his
We tremble to the breeze, own cipher and those of his brothers, cut by the hand of their Veil'd from the grosser ken of mortal sight. childhood. At the foot of the hill flows the river Otter. To this place the Author conducted a party of young Ladies,
Or, haply, at the visionary hour, during the Summer months of the year 1793 ; one of whom, Along our wildly-bower'd sequester'd walk, of stature elegantly small, and of complexion colorless yet We listen to the enamour'd rustic's talk; clear, was proclaimed the Faery Queen. On which occasion Heave with the heavings of the maiden's breast, the following irregular Ode was written.
Where young-eyed Loves have built their turtle
Or guide of soul-subduing power
The electric flash, that from the melting eye
Darts the fond question and the soft reply.
Or through the mystic ringlets of the vale
We flash our faery feet in gamesome prank; Here the blackbird strains his throat;
Or, silent-sandall’d, pay our defter court
Circling the Spirit of the Western Gale,
Where wearied with his flower-caressing sport II.
Supine he slumbers on a violet bank ;
Then with quaint music hymn the parting gleam When fades the moon all shadowy-pale,
By lonely Otter's sleep-persuading stream; And scuds the cloud before the gale,
Or where his waves with loud unquiet song Ere Morn with living gems bedight
Dash'd o'er the rocky channel froth along; Purples the East with streaky light,
Or where, his silver.waters smoothed to rest,
The tall tree's shadow sleeps upon his breast.
Hence, thou lingerer, Light!
Eve saddens into Night.
The sombre hours, that round thee stand
With downcast eyes (a duteous band!)
Their dark robes dripping with the heavy dew.
Sorceress of the ebon throne!
Thy power the Pixies own,
When round thy raven brow
Heaven's lucent roses glow,
And clouds, in watery colors drest,
Float in light drapery o'er thy sable vest :
What time the pale moon sheds a softer day, With wildest texture, blacken'd o'er with age :
Mellowing the woods beneath its pensive beam : Round them their mantle green the ivies bind,
For 'mid the quivering light 't is ours to play,
Aye dancing to the cadence of the stream.
Welcome, Ladies ! to the cell
Where the blameless Pixies dwell :
Queen, By Indolence and Fancy brought,
With what obeisance meet A youthful Bard, “ unknown to Fame,”
Thy presence shall we greet?
Graceful Ease in artless stole,
And white-robed Purity of soul,
With Honor's softer mien ;
Mirth of the loosely-flowing hair,
And meek-eyed Pity eloquently fair,
As snow-drop wet with dew.