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They rush and roar, they whirl and leap, Not wilder drives the wintry storm.

Yet a strong law they keep,

Strange powers their course inform.
Even so the mighty skyborn stream
Its living waters from above,

All marred and broken seem,
No union and no love.

Yet in dim caves they softly blend
In dreams of mortals unespied :

One is their awful end,
One their ur failing Guidt.


[HARTLEY COLERIDGE, son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, was born 19th Sep tember, 1796; died, 6th January, 1849. Besides some prose writings, we have Poenis by Hartley Coleridge, vol. i. (all published) Leeds, 1833; Poems by Hartley Coleridge, with a Memoir of his Life by his Brother, 2 vols, 1851.]

Hartley Coleridge always classed himself among the small poets,' and it is true he was not born for great and splendid achievements ; but there are some writers for whom our affection would be less if they were stronger, more daring, more successful ; and Hartley Coleridge is one of these. We think of him as the visionary boy, whom his father likened to the moon among thin clouds, moving in a circle of his own light,-as the fairy voyager of Wordsworth's prophetic poem, whose boat seemed rather

• To brood on air than on an earthly stream.' We think of him as the elvish figure one might meet forty years later by Grasmere side, too soon an old man and white-haired, with now and then an expression of pain, a half-tone in his voice that betrayed some sense of incompleteness or failure, but with the full eye still bright and soft ; the speech still rippling out fancy and play and wisdom ; the heart, in spite of sorrow and the injuries of time, still as Wordsworth knew it,

•A young lamb's heart among the sull-grown flocks.' A great poet is a toiler, even when his toil is rapturous. Hartley Coleridge did not and perhaps could not toil. Good thoughts came to him as of free grace; gentle pleasures possessed his senses ; loving-kindnesses flowed from his heart, and took as they fowed shadows and colours from his imagination ; and all these mingled and grew mellow. And so a poet's moods expressed themselves in his verse ; but he built no lofty rhyme. The sonnet, in which a thought and a feeling are wedded helpmates suited his genius ; and of his many delightful sonnets some of the best are im. mediate transcripts of the passing mood of joy or pain. 'To see him brandishing his pen,' a friend has written, “and now and then beating time with his foot, and breaking out into a shout at any felicitous idea, was a thing never to be forgotten. . . . His sonnets were all written instantaneously, and never, to my knowledge. occupied more than ten minutes.' Perhaps because of this happy facility they often fall short of complete attainment; sometimes the vigour of conception suddenly declines, sometimes the touch loses its precision ; nor is the poetic mood from which they originate always delivered by the imagination from its surrounding circumstance of prose, or its alloy of humbler feeling.

But all that Hartley Coleridge has written is genuine, full of nature, sweet, fresh, breathing charity and reconciliation. His poems of self-portrayal are many, and of these not a few are pathetic with sense of change and sorrowing self-condemnation; yet his penitence had a silver side of hope, and one whose piety was so unaffected, whose faith though thinner far than vapour' had yet outlived all frowardness, could not desperately upbraid even his weaker self. For all that is sweet and venerable-for the charm of old age, for the comeliness of ancient use and wont, for the words of sacred poet or prophet, for the traditions of civility, for the heritage of English law and English freedom, for the simple humanities of earth, for fatherhood and motherhood, Hartley Coleridge had a heartfelt and tender reverence. And with a more exquisite devotion he cherished all srail, innocent, and dependent creatures ; small they should be or they could not look to their quaint little poet as a protector. To think of the humming-bird's or the cricket's glee made him happy ; he bowed over the forgetme not blossom as if it were a sapphire amulet against all mortal taint, and over the eye-bright gold-eyed weedie,' which owns such holy, medicinal virtue. He loved with the naïveté of innocenthearted old bachelorhood the paradise of maidenhood ; with all its sweet she-slips, in Shakespeare's play and Stothard's page, and, better still, on English lawn or by English fireside. And who has been laureate to as many baby boys and 'wee ladies sweet' as Hartley Coleridge ? Rounding the lives of all little children and all helpless things he felt a nearness of some strong protecting Love which called forth his deepest instincts of piety.

In Grasmere churchyard, close to the body of Wordsworth, rests that of Hartley Coleridge ; so a Presence of strength and plain heroic magnitude of mind environs him. And hard by a stream goes murmuring to the lake. As a mountain rivulet to a mountain lake, so is Hartley Coleridge's poetry to that of Wordsworth ; and the stream has a melodious life and a freshness of its own.



Long time a child, and still a child, when years
Had painted manhood on my cheek, was 1,-
For yet I lived like one not born to die ;
A thriftless prodigal of smiles and tears,
No hope I needed, and I knew no fears.
But sleep, though sweet, is only sleep, and waking,
I waked to sleep no more, at once o’ertaking
The vanguard of my age, with all arrears
Of duty on my back. Nor child, nor man,
Nor youth, nor sage, I find my head is grey,
For I have lost the race I never ran :
A rathe December blights my lagging May;
And still I am a child, though I be old,
Time is my debtor for my years untold.


Fair maid, had I not heard thy baby cries,
Nor seen thy girlish, sweet vicissitude,
Thy mazy motions, striving to elude,
Yet wooing still a parent's watchful eyes,
Thy humours, many as the opal's dyes,
And lovely all ;-methinks thy scornful mood,
And bearing high of stately womanhood, -
Thy brow, where Beauty sits to tyrannize
O’er humble love, had made me sadly fear thee ;
For never sure was seen a royal bride,
Whose gentleness gave grace to so much pride-
My very thoughts would tremble to be near thee.
But when I see thee at thy father's side,
Old times unqueen thee, and old loves endear thee.

MAY, 1840.

A lovely morn, so still, so very si.ll,
it hardly seems a growing day of Spring,
Though all the odorous buds are blossoming,
And the small matin birds were glad and shrill
Some hours ago ; but now the woodland rill
Murmurs along, the only vocal thing,
Save when the wee wren flits with stealthy wing,
And cons by fits and bits her evening trill.
Lovers might sit on such a morn as this
An hour together, looking at the sky,
Nor dare to break the silence with a kiss,
Long listening for the signal of a sigh;
And the sweet Nun, diffused in voiceless prayer,
Feel her own soul through all the brooding air.


Like a loose island on the wide expanses
Unconscious floating on the fickle sea,
Herself her all, she lives in privacy ;
Her waking life as lonely as a trance,
Doomed to behold the universal dance,
And never hear the music which expounds
The solemn step, coy slide, the merry bounds,
The vague, mute language of the countenance.
In vain for her I smooth my antic rhyme ;
She cannot hear it, all her little being
Concentred in her solitary seeing-
What can she know of beaut[eous) or sublime ?
And yet methinks she looks so calm and good,
God must be with her in her solitude.

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