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Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

· Samuel Taylor COLERIDGE: Frost at Midnight poem · Samuel Taylor COLERIDGE: Desire · Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Frost at Midnight (vertaling Cornelis W. Schoneveld) · Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Mad Mother · Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Nightingale · Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Tale of The Dark Ladie · Samuel Taylor Coleridge: 4 poems · Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Love

Samuel Taylor COLERIDGE: Frost at Midnight poem

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Frost at Midnight

The Frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind. The owlet’s cry
Came loud, -and hark, again! loud as before.
The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
Have left me to that solitude, which suits
Abstruser musings: save that at my side
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
‘Tis calm indeed! so calm, that it disturbs
And vexes meditation with its strange
And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood,
With all the numberless goings-on of life,
Inaudible as dreams! the thin blue flame
Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not;
Only that film, which fluttered on the grate,
Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.
Methinks its motion in this hush of nature
Gives it dim sympathies with me who live,
Making it a companionable form,
Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit
By its own moods interprets, every where
Echo or mirror seeking of itself,
And makes a toy of Thought.

But O! how oft,
How oft, at school, with most believing mind,
Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars,
To watch that fluttering stranger! and as oft
With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt
Of my sweet birthplace, and the old church-tower,
Whose bells, the poor man’s only music, rang
From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day,
So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me
With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear
Most like articulate sounds of things to come!
So gazed I, till the soothing things, I dreamt,
Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged my dreams!
And so I brooded all the following morn,
Awed by the stern preceptor’s face, mine eye
Fixed with mock study on my swimming book:
Save if the door half opened, and I snatched
A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped up,
For still I hoped to see the stranger’s face,
Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved,
My playmate when we both were clothed alike!

Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side,
Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm,
Fill up the interspersed vacancies
And momentary pauses of the thought!
My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart
With tender gladness, thus to look at thee,
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore,
And in far other scenes! For I was reared
In the great city, pent mid cloisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.
But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language, which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Great universal Teacher! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 – 1834)
Frost at Midnight
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Coleridge, Coleridge, Samuel Taylor


Samuel Taylor COLERIDGE: Desire

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Desire

Where true Love burns Desire is Love’s pure flame;
It is the reflex of our earthly frame,
That takes its meaning from the nobler part,
And but translates the language of the heart.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 – 1834)
Desire
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Coleridge, Coleridge, Samuel Taylor


Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Frost at Midnight (vertaling Cornelis W. Schoneveld)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834)

 

Frost at Midnight

The Frost performs its secret ministry,

Unhelped by any wind. The owlet’s cry

Came loud – and hark, again! loud as before.

The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,

Have left me to that solitude, which suits

Abstruser musings: save that at my side

My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.

‘Tis calm indeed! so calm, that it disturbs

And vexes meditation with its strange

And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood,

This populous village! Sea, and hill, and wood,

With all the numberless goings-on of life,

Inaudible as dreams! the thin blue flame

Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not;

Only that film, which fluttered on the grate,

Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.

Methinks its motion in this hush of nature

Gives it dim sympathies with me who live,

Making it a companionable form,

Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit

By its own moods interprets, everywhere

Echo or mirror seeking of itself,

And makes a toy of Thought.

 

                                                 But O! how oft,

How oft at school, with most believing mind,

Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars,

To watch that fluttering stranger! and as oft

With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt

Of my sweet birthplace, and the old church tower,

Whose bells, the poor man’s only music, rang

From morn to evening, all the hot fair-day,

So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me

With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear

Most like articulate sounds of things to come!

So gazed I, till the soothing things, I dreamt,

Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged my dreams!

And so I brooded all the following morn,

Awed by the stern preceptor’s face, mine eye

Fixed with mock study on my swimming book:

Save if the door half opened, and I snatched

A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped up,

For still I hoped to see the stranger’s face,

Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved,

My playmate when we both were clothed alike!

 

Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side,

Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm,

Fill up the interspersèd vacancies

And momentary pauses of the thought!

My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart

With tender gladness, thus to look at thee,

And think that thou shalt learn far other lore,

And in far other scenes! For I was reared

In the great city, pent ‘mid cloisters dim,

And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.

But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze

By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags

Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,

Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores

And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear

The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible

Of that eternal language, which thy God

Utters, who from eternity doth teach

Himself in all, and all things in himself.

Great universal Teacher! he shall mold

Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.

 

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,

Whether the summer clothe the general earth

With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing

Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch

Of mossy apple tree, while the nigh thatch

Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall

Heard only in the trances of the blast,

Or if the secret ministry of frost

Shall hang them up in silent icicles,

Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

1798

 

 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Vorst te middernacht

De vorst werkt stil aan zijn geheime taak,

Geen wind die daarbij helpt. Het uiltje gaf

Zijn luide roep – en hoor, weer! even luid.

Alle bewoners van mijn stulpje slapen nu,

En bieden mij afzondering, die past

Bij diepergaand gepeins: behalve dan

Dat naast mij kalm mijn wiegekindje rust.

Hoe vredig! Zo zeer, dat ‘t bezinning stoort

En tegenwerkt door buitensporige

En vreemde stilligheid. Zee, heuvel, bos,

Dit volk-rijk dorp! Zee, heuvel, bos,

Met al die grote drukte van ‘t bestaan,

Onhoorbaar als een droom! De dunne vlam

Dekt blauw mijn smeulend vuur, en wappert niet;

Maar ‘n film, die trillend op het rooster lag,

Trilt nu nog steeds, en stoort de rust alleen.

Medunkt die onrust in de stilte der natuur

Geeft het wat meegevoel met mij die leeft,

Waardoor zich ‘n deelgenootschap vormt,

En, sluimerend, de geest ‘t zwak fladderen

Door de eigen stemmingen verklaart, op zoek

Naar echo’s of een spiegel van zichzelf,

En spel maakt van gepeins.

 

                                    Maar O! hoe vaak,

Hoe vaak op school, in goedgelovigheid,

Staard’ ik met voorgevoel de spijlen aan,

En zag die fladderende vreemde! * Vaak

Ook had ik, d’ ogen open, zoet gedroomd

Van waar mijn wieg stond, van de kerkklok,

De enige muziek der arme man, die klonk

Van vroeg tot laat, de ganse, warme dag,

Zo lieflijk, dat het mij ontroerde en greep

Met wild plezier, en in mijn oren zonk

Als ‘t klinkklaar luiden van wat komen zou!

Zo staarde ik, tot ik kalmerend door die droom,

In slaap viel, en die droom weer langer werd!

Zo mijmerde ik de dag daarop nog door.

Mijn oog, bevreesd voor meester’s strenge blik,

Kleefde al spijbelend aan mijn drijvend boek:

Behalve als bij open deur, ik snel

Een blik wierp, en mijn hart weer opsprong,

Want steeds nog keek ik naar de vreemde uit,

Stedeling, tante, zuster meer geliefd,

Mijn makker, nog gelijk gekleed als ik!

 

Lief kindje, naast mij slapend in je wieg,

Wiens zachte adem, hoorbaar in de rust,

De leemtes en de korte pauzes soms

Verspreid in de gedachtenstromen vult!

Mijn kind, zo schoon! Het schenkt mijn hart

Een tere vreugd, als ik zo naar je kijk,

En weet dat jij veel, anders leren zult,

En in heel ander landschap ook! Want ik

Groeide gekloosterd als een stadskind op,

En zag aan schoons slechts sterren en de lucht.

Maar jij, mijn kind, zult zwerven als een bries

Aan meer en oever, onder aan de kloof

Van ‘n oude berg, en onder ‘t wolkendek,

Dat in zijn opbouw oever, meer, en kloof

Verbeeldt: zo zul je zien en horen ook

De liefelijke vormen en bevattelijke klank

Van die onsterfelijke taal, door God

Gesproken, die zich eeuwig onderwijst

In ‘t al, en alle dingen in Zichzelf.

De grote algehele Leraar! Hij boetseert

Je geest, and zorgt door geven dat die vraagt.

 

Daarom zal elk seizoen je dierbaar zijn,

Of nu de zomer heel de aarde kleedt

In ‘t groen, of ‘t roodborstje zit en zingt

Tussen de plekjes sneeuw op ‘n kale tak

Van een bemoste appelboom, terwijl

Het rietdak dampt in zonnedooi; of nu

Dakdruppels spetteren bij geluwde wind,

Of dat, door de geheime taak der vorst,

Ze onhoorbaar neerhangen als ijspegels,

In stilte schijnend naar de stille maan.

 

* Vreemde: de roetfilm die boven het rooster zweeft wordt “overal in het land vreemde genoemd en kondigt de komst van een afwezige bekende aan” (aantekening van Coleridge)

 

Vertaling Cornelis W. Schoneveld

Uit: Bestorm mijn hart, de beste Engelse gedichten uit de 16e-19e eeuw gekozen en vertaald door Cornelis W. Schoneveld, tweetalige editie. Rainbow Essentials no. 55, Uitgeverij Maarten Muntinga, Amsterdam, 2008, 296 pp, € 9,95 ISBN: 9789041740588

Kempis.nl poetry magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Coleridge, Coleridge, Samuel Taylor


Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Mad Mother

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834)

 

The Mad Mother

 

Her eyes are wild, her head is bare,

The sun has burnt her coal-black hair,

Her eye-brows have a rusty stain,

And she came far from over the main.

She has a baby on her arm,

Or else she were alone;

And underneath the hay-stack warm,

And on the green-wood stone,

She talked and sung the woods among;

And it was in the English tongue.

 

"Sweet babe! they say that I am mad,

But nay, my heart is far too glad;

And I am happy when I sing

Full many a sad and doleful thing:

Then, lovely baby, do not fear!

I pray thee have no fear of me,

But, safe as in a cradle, here

My lovely baby! thou shalt be,

To thee I know too much I owe;

I cannot work thee any woe.

 

A fire was once within my brain;

And in my head a dull, dull pain;

And fiendish faces one, two, three,

Hung at my breasts, and pulled at me.

But then there came a sight of joy;

It came at once to do me good;

I waked, and saw my little boy,

My little boy of flesh and blood;

Oh joy for me that sight to see!

For he was here, and only he.

 

Suck, little babe, oh suck again!

It cools my blood; it cools my brain;

Thy lips I feel them, baby! they

Draw from my heart the pain away.

Oh! press me with thy little hand;

It loosens something at my chest;

About that tight and deadly band

I feel thy little fingers press’d.

The breeze I see is in the tree;

It comes to cool my babe and me.

 

Oh! love me, love me, little boy!

Thou art thy mother’s only joy;

And do not dread the waves below,

When o’er the sea-rock’s edge we go;

The high crag cannot work me harm,

Nor leaping torrents when they howl;

The babe I carry on my arm,

He saves for me my precious soul;

Then happy lie, for blest am I;

Without me my sweet babe would die.

 

Then do not fear, my boy! for thee

Bold as a lion I will be;

And I will always be thy guide,

Through hollow snows and rivers wide.

I’ll build an Indian bower; I know

The leaves that make the softest bed:

And if from me thou wilt not go,

But still be true ’till I am dead,

My pretty thing! then thou shalt sing,

As merry as the birds in spring.

 

Thy father cares not for my breast,

‘Tis thine, sweet baby, there to rest:

‘Tis all thine own! and if its hue

Be changed, that was so fair to view,

‘Tis fair enough for thee, my dove!

My beauty, little child, is flown;

But thou wilt live with me in love,

And what if my poor cheek be brown?

‘Tis well for me; thou canst not see

How pale and wan it else would be.

 

Dread not their taunts, my little life!

I am thy father’s wedded wife;

And underneath the spreading tree

We two will live in honesty.

If his sweet boy he could forsake,

With me he never would have stay’d:

From him no harm my babe can take,

But he, poor man! is wretched made,

And every day we two will pray

For him that’s gone and far away.

 

I’ll teach my boy the sweetest things;

I’ll teach him how the owlet sings.

My little babe! thy lips are still,

And thou hast almost suck’d thy fill.

–Where art thou gone my own dear child?

What wicked looks are those I see?

Alas! alas! that look so wild,

It never, never came from me:

If thou art mad, my pretty lad,

Then I must be for ever sad.

 

Oh! smile on me, my little lamb!

For I thy own dear mother am.

My love for thee has well been tried:

I’ve sought thy father far and wide.

I know the poisons of the shade,

I know the earth-nuts fit for food;

Then, pretty dear, be not afraid;

We’ll find thy father in the wood.

Now laugh and be gay, to the woods away!

And there, my babe; we’ll live for aye.


S.T. Coleridge: The Mad Mother

kempis poetry magazine

More in: Coleridge, Samuel Taylor


Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Nightingale

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834)

The Nightingale


A Conversational Poem

Written in April 1798


No cloud, no relique of the sunken day

Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip

Of sullen Light, no obscure trembling hues.

Come, we will rest on this old mossy Bridge!

You see the glimmer of the stream beneath,

But hear no murmuring: it flows silently

O’er its soft bed of verdure. All is still,

A balmy night! and tho’ the stars be dim,

Yet let us think upon the vernal showers

That gladden the green earth, and we shall find

A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.

And hark! the Nightingale begins its song,

"Most musical, most melancholy"[1] Bird!

A melancholy Bird? O idle thought!

In nature there is nothing melancholy.

–But some night-wandering Man, whose heart was pierc’d

With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,

Or slow distemper or neglected love,

(And so, poor Wretch! fill’d all things with himself

And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale

Of his own sorrows) he and such as he

First nam’d these notes a melancholy strain;

And many a poet echoes the conceit,

Poet, who hath been building up the rhyme

When he had better far have stretch’d his limbs

Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell

By sun or moonlight, to the influxes

Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements

Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song

And of his fame forgetful! so his fame

Should share in nature’s immortality,

A venerable thing! and so his song

Should make all nature lovelier, and itself

Be lov’d, like nature!–But ’twill not be so;

And youths and maidens most poetical

Who lose the deep’ning twilights of the spring

In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still

Full of meek sympathy must heave their sighs

O’er Philomela’s pity-pleading strains.

My Friend, and my Friend’s Sister! we have learnt

A different lore: we may not thus profane

Nature’s sweet voices always full of love

And joyance! ‘Tis the merry Nightingale

That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates

With fast thick warble his delicious notes,

As he were fearful, that an April night

Would be too short for him to utter forth

His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul

Of all its music! And I know a grove

Of large extent, hard by a castle huge

Which the great lord inhabits not: and so

This grove is wild with tangling underwood,

And the trim walks are broken up, and grass,

Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths.

But never elsewhere in one place I knew

So many Nightingales: and far and near

In wood and thicket over the wide grove

They answer and provoke each other’s songs–

With skirmish and capricious passagings,

And murmurs musical and swift jug jug

And one low piping sound more sweet than all–

Stirring the air with such an harmony,

That should you close your eyes, you might almost

Forget it was not day! On moonlight bushes,

Whose dewy leafits are but half disclos’d,

You may perchance behold them on the twigs,

Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both bright and full,

Glistning, while many a glow-worm in the shade

Lights up her love-torch.

 

A most gentle maid

Who dwelleth in her hospitable home

Hard by the Castle, and at latest eve,

(Even like a Lady vow’d and dedicate

To something more than nature in the grove)

Glides thro’ the pathways; she knows all their notes,

That gentle Maid! and oft, a moment’s space,

What time the moon was lost behind a cloud,

Hath heard a pause of silence: till the Moon

Emerging, hath awaken’d earth and sky

With one sensation, and those wakeful Birds

Have all burst forth in choral minstrelsy,

As if one quick and sudden Gale had swept

An hundred airy harps! And she hath watch’d

Many a Nightingale perch giddily

On blosmy twig still swinging from the breeze,

And to that motion tune his wanton song,

Like tipsy Joy that reels with tossing head.

 

Farewell, O Warbler! till to-morrow eve,

And you, my friends! farewell, a short farewell!

We have been loitering long and pleasantly,

And now for our dear homes.–That strain again!

Full fain it would delay me!–My dear Babe,

Who, capable of no articulate sound,

Mars all things with his imitative lisp,

How he would place his hand beside his ear,

His little hand, the small forefinger up,

And bid us listen! And I deem it wise

To make him Nature’s playmate. He knows well

The evening star: and once when he awoke

In most distressful mood (some inward pain

Had made up that strange thing, an infant’s dream)

I hurried with him to our orchard plot,

And he beholds the moon, and hush’d at once

Suspends his sobs, and laughs most silently,

While his fair eyes that swam with undropt tears

Did glitter in the yellow moon-beam! Well–

It is a father’s tale. But if that Heaven

Should give me life, his childhood shall grow up

Familiar with these songs, that with the night

He may associate Joy! Once more farewell,

Sweet Nightingale! once more, my friends! farewell.

 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Nightingale

kempis poetry magazine

More in: Coleridge, Samuel Taylor


Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Tale of The Dark Ladie

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834)

 

Introduction to the Tale of the Dark Ladie


The following poem is intended as the introduction to a somewhat longer one. The use of the old ballad word ‘Ladie’ for Lady, is the only piece of obsoleteness in it; and as it is professedly a tale of ancient times, I trust that the affectionate lovers of venerable antiquity, as Camden says, will grant me their pardon, and perhaps may be induced to admit a force and propriety in it. A heavier objection may be adduced against the author, that in these times of fear and expectation, when novelties explode around us in all directions, he should presume to offer to the public a silly tale of old-fashioned love: and five years ago, I own I should have allowed and felt the force of this objection. But alas! explosion has succeeded explosion so rapidly, that novelty itself ceases to appear new; and it is possible that now, even a simple story, wholly uninspired with politics or personality, may find some attention amid the hubbub of revolutions, as to those who have remained a long time by the falls of Niagara, the lowest whispering becomes distinctly audible (1799).

 

O leave the lily on its stem;

O leave the rose upon the spray;

O leave the elder-bloom, fair maids!

And listen to my lay.

 

A cypress and a myrtle-bough

This morn around my harp you twin’d,

Because it fashion’d mournfully

Its murmurs in the wind.

 

And now a tale of love and woe,

A woful tale of love I sing;

Hark, gentle maidens, hark! it sighs

And trembles on the string.

 

But most, my own dear Genevieve,

It sighs and trembles most for thee!

O come and hear the cruel wrongs

Befell the Dark Ladie!

 

And now once more a tale of woe,

A woful tale of love I sing;

For thee, my Genevieve! it sighs,

And trembles on the string.

 

When last I sang the cruel scorn

That craz’d this bold and lovely knight,

And how he roam’d the mountain-woods,

Nor rested day or night;

 

I promised thee a sister tale

Of man’s perfidious cruelty;

Come, then, and hear what cruel wrong

Befell the Dark Ladie.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

The Tale of The Dark Ladie

kempis poetry magazine

More in: Coleridge, Samuel Taylor


Samuel Taylor Coleridge: 4 poems

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834)

 

TO THE NIGHTINGALE

 

Sister of lovelorn poets, Philomel!

How many bards in city garret spent,

While at their window they with downward eye

Mark the faint lamp-beam on the kennell’d mud,

And listen to the drowsy cry of watchmen,

(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 moou-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 ceas’d to listen! Therefore 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,

Though sweeter far than the delicious airs

That vibrate from a white-arm’d lady’s harp,

What time the languishment of lonely love

Melts in her eye, and heaves her breast of snow,

Are not so sweet, as is the voice of her,

My Sara–best beloved of human kind!

When breathing the pure soul of tenderness,

She thrills me with the husband’s promised name!

 

 

SENTIMENTAL

 

The rose that blushes like the morn

Bedecks the valleys low;

And so dost thou, sweet infant corn,

My Angelina’s toe.

 

But on the rose there grows a thorn

That breeds disastrous woe;

And so dost thou, remorseless corn,

On Angelina’s toe.

 

 

THE EXCHANGE

 

We pledged our hearts, my love and I,–

I in my arms the maiden clasping;

I could not tell the reason why,

But, oh! I trembled like an aspen.

 

Her father’s love she bade me gain;

I went, and shook like any reed!

I strove to act the man–in vain!

We had exchanged our hearts indeed.

 

 

AN ODE TO THE RAIN

 

Composed Before Day-Light on the Morning Appointed for the Departure of a Very Worthy, But Not Very Pleasant Visitor, Whom It Was Feared The Rain Might Detain.

 

I know it is dark; and though I have lain

Awake, as I guess, an hour or twain,

I have not once open’d the lids of my eyes,

But I lie in the dark, as a blind man lies.

O Rain! that I lie listening to,

You’re but a doleful sound at best:

I owe you little thanks, ’tis true,

For breaking thus my needful rest!

Yet if, as soon as it is light,

O Rain! you will but take your flight,

I’ll neither rail, nor malice keep,

Though sick and sore for want of sleep.

 

But only now, for this one day,

Do go, dear Rain! do go away!

O Rain! with your dull two-fold sound,

The clash hard by, and the murmur all round!

You know, if you know aught, that we,

Both night and day, but ill agree:

For days, and months, and almost years,

Have limped on through this vale of tears,

Since body of mine, and rainy weather,

Have lived on easy terms together.

Yet if, as soon as it is light,

O Rain! you will but take your flight,

Though you should come again to-morrow,

And bring with you both pain and sorrow;

Though stomach should sicken, and knees should swell–

I’ll nothing speak of you but well.

But only now for this one day,

Do go, dear Rain! do go away!

 

Dear Rain! I ne’er refused to say

You’re a good creature in your way.

Nay, I could write a book myself,

Would fit a parson’s lower shelf,

Showing, how very good you are.–

What then? sometimes it must be fair!

And if sometimes, why not to-day?

Do go, dear Rain! do go away!

 

Dear Rain! if I’ve been cold and shy,

Take no offence! I’ll tell you why.

A dear old Friend e’en now is here,

And with him came my sister dear;

After long absence now first met,

Long months by pain and grief beset–

With three dear friends! in truth, we groan

Impatiently to be alone.

We three, you mark! and not one more!

The strong wish makes my spirit sore.

We have so much to talk about,

So many sad things to let out;

So many tears in our eye-corners,

Sitting like little Jacky Horners–

In short, as soon as it is day,

Do go, dear Rain! do go away.

 

And this I’ll swear to you, dear Rain!

Whenever you shall come again,

Be you as dull as e’er you could;

(And by the bye ’tis understood,

You’re not so pleasant, as you’re good;)

Yet, knowing well your worth and place,

I’ll welcome you with cheerful face;

And though you stay’d a week or more,

Were ten times duller than before;

Yet with kind heart, and right good will,

I’ll sit and listen to you still;

Nor should you go away, dear Rain!

Uninvited to remain.

But only now, for this one day,

Do go, dear Rain! do go away.

 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: 4 Poems

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Love

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834)

 

L o v e

 

All thoughts, all passions, all delights,

Whatever stirs this mortal frame,

All are but ministers of Love,

         And feed his sacred flame.

 

Oft in my waking dreams do I

Live o’er again that happy hour,

When midway on the mount I lay,

         Beside the ruined tower.

 

The moonshine, stealing o’er the scene

Had blended with the lights of eve;

And she was there, my hope, my joy,

         My own dear Genevieve!

 

She leant against the arm{‘e}d man,

The statue of the arm{‘e}d knight;

She stood and listened to my lay,

         Amid the lingering light.

 

Few sorrows hath she of her own,

My hope! my joy! my Genevieve!

She loves me best, whene’er I sing

         The songs that make her grieve.

 

I played a soft and doleful air,

I sang an old and moving story—

An old rude song, that suited well

         That ruin wild and hoary.

 

She listened with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes and modest grace;

For well she knew, I could not choose

         But gaze upon her face.

 

I told her of the Knight that wore

Upon his shield a burning brand;

And that for ten long years he wooed

         The Lady of the Land.

 

I told her how he pined: and ah!

The deep, the low, the pleading tone

With which I sang another’s love,

         Interpreted my own.

 

She listened with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes, and modest grace;

And she forgave me, that I gazed

         Too fondly on her face!

 

But when I told the cruel scorn

That crazed that bold and lovely Knight,

And that he crossed the mountain-woods,

         Nor rested day nor night;

 

That sometimes from the savage den,

And sometimes from the darksome shade,

And sometimes starting up at once

         In green and sunny glade,—

 

There came and looked him in the face

An angel beautiful and bright;

And that he knew it was a Fiend,

         This miserable Knight!

 

And that unknowing what he did,

He leaped amid a murderous band,

And saved from outrage worse than death

         The Lady of the Land!

 

And how she wept, and clasped his knees;

And how she tended him in vain—

And ever strove to expiate

         The scorn that crazed his brain;—

 

And that she nursed him in a cave;

And how his madness went away,

When on the yellow forest-leaves

         A dying man he lay;—

 

His dying words—but when I reached

That tenderest strain of all the ditty,

My faltering voice and pausing harp

         Disturbed her soul with pity!

 

All impulses of soul and sense

Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve;

The music and the doleful tale,

         The rich and balmy eve;

 

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,

An undistinguishable throng,

And gentle wishes long subdued,

         Subdued and cherished long!

 

She wept with pity and delight,

She blushed with love, and virgin-shame;

And like the murmur of a dream,

         I heard her breathe my name.

 

Her bosom heaved—she stepped aside,

As conscious of my look she stepped—

Then suddenly, with timorous eye

         She fled to me and wept.

 

She half enclosed me with her arms,

She pressed me with a meek embrace;

And bending back her head, looked up,

         And gazed upon my face.

 

‘Twas partly love, and partly fear,

And partly ’twas a bashful art,

That I might rather feel, than see,

         The swelling of her heart.

 

I calmed her fears, and she was calm,

And told her love with virgin pride;

And so I won my Genevieve,

         My bright and beauteous Bride.




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