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On thee I rest my only hope at last,
Of solace, that may bear me on serene,
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,
As one who, long by wasting sickness worn,
Heartless the carol of the matin bird
Salute his lonely porch, now first at morn
Goes forth, leaving his melancholy bed ; LANGUID, and sad, and slow, from day to day
He the green slope and level meadow views, I journey on, yet pensive turn to view
Delightful bathed with slow-ascending dews; (Where the rich landscape gleams with softer hue) Or marks the clouds, that o'er the mountain's head The streanis, and vales, and hills, that steal away.
In varying forms fantastic wander white; So fares it with the children of the earth:
Or turns his ear to every random song, For when life's goodly prospect opens round, Heard the green river's winding marge along, Their spirits beat to tread that fairy ground,
The whilst each sense is stecp'd in still delight. Where every vale sounds to the pipe of mirth.
With such delight, o'er all my heart I feel, But them vain hope and easy youth beguiles,
Sweet hope! thy fragrance pure and healing incense And soon a longing look, like me, they cast
Go then, and join the roaring city's throng!
Me thou dost leave to solitude and tears,
To busy fantasies, and boding fears,
Lest ill betide thee: but 'twill not be long,
As thee, my country, and the long-lost sight Live happy; sometimes the forsaken shade
Of thy own cliffs, that lift their summits white Remembering, and these trees now left to fade; Above the wave, once more my beating heart Nor 'mid the busy scenes and “hum of men,” With eager hope and filial transport hails ! Wilt thou my cares forget: in heaviness Scenes of my youth, reviving gales ye bring,
To me the hours shall roll, weary and slow, As when erewhile the tuneful morn of spring Till, mournful autumn past, and all the snow Joyous awoke amidst your blooming vales,
Of winter pale! the glad hour I shall bless, And fill'd with fragrance every painted plain : That shall restore thee from the crowd again,
Fled are those hours, and all the joys they gave! To the green hamlet in the peaceful plain.
Yet still I gaze, and count each rising wave
THERE is strange music in the stirring wind,
When lowers the autumnal eve, and all alone TO THE RIVER CHERWELL, OXFORD.
To the dark wood's cold covert thou art gone, CHERWELL! how pleased along thy willow'd hedge Whose ancient trees on the rough slope reclined
Erewhile I stray'd, or when the morn began Rock, and at times scatter their tresses sear.
If in such shades, beneath their murmuring,
Chiefly if one, with whom such sweets at morn Whose music on my melancholy way
Or eve thou'st shared, to distant scenes shall I woo'd: amid thy waving willows hoar
stray. Seeking a while to rest-till the bright sun
O, spring, return! return, auspicious May! Of joy return, as when heaven's beauteous bow But sad will be thy coming, and forlorn,
Beams on the night-storm's passing wings below: If she return not with thy cheering ray, Whate'er betide, yet something have I won Who from these shades is gone, gone far away.
O HARMONY! thou tenderest nurse of pain,
If that thy note's sweet magic e'er can heal WHOSE was that gentle voice, that whispering Griefs which the patient spirit oft may feel, sweet,
0! let me listen to thy songs again, Promised methought long days of bliss sincere ? Till memory her fairest tints shall bring, Soothing it stole on my deluded ear,
Hope wake with brighter eye, and listening seem Most like soft music, that might sometimes cheat With smiles to think on some delightful dream, Thoughts dark and drooping! 'Twas the voice of That waved o'er the charm'd sense its gladsome hope.
wing: Of love, and social scenes, it seem'd to speak, For when thou leadest all thy soothing strains
Of truth, of friendship, of affection meek; More smooth along, the silent passions meet That, 0! poor friend, might to life's downward in one suspended transport, sad and sweet, slope
And naught but sorrow's softest touch remains, Lead us in peace, and bless our latest hours. That, when the transitory charm is o'er,
Ah me! the prospect sadden'd as she sung; Just wakes a tear, and then is felt no more.
Loud on my startled ear the death-bell rung; Chill darkness wrapt the pleasurable bowers, Whilst horror, pointing to yon breathless clay,
SONNET. “ No peace be thine,” exclaim'd; “ away, away!”
As o'er these hills I take my silent rounds,
Still on that vision which is flown I dwell!
On images I loved (alas, how well!)
Such recollections, painful though they seem,
And hours of joy retrace, till from my dream
To think so soon life's first endearments fail,
And we are still misled by hope's smooth tale ! Who, like a flatterer, when the happiest hours Are past, and most we wish her cheering lay, Will fly as faithless and as fleet as they !
How shall I meet thee, summer, wont to fill
My heart with gladness, when thy pleasant tide
First came, and on each coomb's romantic side
The hedge-rows shall ring loud, and on the slope
Thinking their May-tide fragrance might delight,
sight! But I shall mark their hues with sickening eyes, And weep for her who in the cold grave lies !
How blest with the path could I have trod
Of quiet life, above cold want's hard fate,
(And little wishing more,) nor of the great Envious, or their proud name! but it pleased God
To take thee to his mercy: thou didst go FALL’N pile ! I ask not what has been thy fate; In youth and beauty, go to thy death-bed; But when the weak winds, wafted from the E’en whilst on dreams of bliss we fondly fed, main,
Of years to come of comfort !-Be it so. Through each rent arch, like spirits that com Ere this I have felt sorrow ; and e'en now plain,
(Though sometimes the unbidden thought must Come hollow to my ear, I meditate
start, On this world's passing pageant, and the lot
And half unman the miserable heart) Of those who once full proudly in their prime
The cold dew I shall wipe from my sad brow, And beauteous might have stood, till bow'd by And say, since hopes of bliss on earth are vain, time
“ Best friend, farewell, till we do meet again?” Or injury, their early boast forgot, They may have fall’n like thee: Pale and forlorn, Their brow, besprent with thin hairs, white as
ON REVISITING OXFORD. They lift, majestic yet; as they would scorn
This short-lived scene of vanity and wo; I NEVER hear the sound of thy glad bells, Whilst on their sad looks smilingly they bear Oxford ! and chime harmonious, but I say The trace of creeping age, and the dim hue of (Sighing to think how time has worn away,) care !
“ Some spirit speaks in the sweet tone that swells
Heard after years of absence, from the vale Didst soothe me, bidding my poor heart rejoice, Where Cherwell winds.” Most true it speaks Though smitten sore: 0, I did little think the tale
That thou, my friend, wouldst the first victim fall Of days departed, and its voice recalls
To the stern king of terrors ! thou didst ily, Hours of delight and hope in the gay tide
By pity prompted, at the poor man's cry; Of life, and many friends now scatter'd wide
And soon thyself wert stretch'd beneath the pall, By many fates. Peace be within thy walls !
Livid infection's prey. The deep distress I have scarce heart to visit thee; but yet,
Of her, who best thy inmost bosom knew, Denied the joys sought in thy shades,-denied To whom thy faith was vow'd, thy soul was true, Each better hope, since my poor
What powers of faltering language shall express What I have owed to thee, my heart can ne'er forget! As friendship bids, I feebly breathe my own,
And sorrowing say, “Pure spirit, thou art gone!"
SONNET. ON THE DEATH OF THE REV. WILLIAM BENWELL.
WRITTEN AT MALVERN, JULY 11, 1793. THou camest with kind looks, when on the brink Almost of death I strove, and with mild voice I SHALL behold far off thy towering crest,
Proud mountain ! from thy heights as slow I stray The following elegant inscription to the memory of
Down through the distant vale my homeward way, this amiable and excellent young man is prefixed to the I shall behold, upon thy rugged breast, chancel of Caversham church, near Reading, and does The parting sun sit smiling: me the while merely justice to the many valuable qualifications of him
Escaped the crowd, thoughts full of heaviness whose virtues and graces il records :
May visit, as life's bitter losses press
Hard on my bosom: but I shall “ beguile
The thing I am,” and think, that e’en as thou Who died of a contagious fever, the consequence of
Dost lift in the pale beam thy forehead high, bis charitable endeavours to relieve and comfort the Proud mountain! (whilst the scatter'd vapours fly inhabitants of the village in which he resided. Unheeded round thy breast,) so, with calm brow, From early youth
The shades of sorrow I may meet, and wear
The smile unchanged of peace, though prest by care ! and variety of knowledge;
Simple, modest, and retired; In manners and conversation he possessed a natural grace; a winning courtesy, truly expressive of the heavenly serenity of his mind, and of the meekness, low
SONNET liness and benevolence of his heart. To his Relations, and to his Companions whom he loved,
ON REVIEWING THE FOREGOING. SEPT. 21, 1797. he was most tenderly and consistently affectionate: To the poor a zealous friend, a wise and patient instructer; | I TURN these leaves with thronging thoughts, and
By his mildness cheering the sorrowful;
“ Alas ! how many friends of youth are dead,
How many visions of fair hope have fled,
Since first, my muse, we met:”—So speeds away to act, to speak, and to think,
Life, and its shadows; yet we sit and sing, as in the sight of God.
Stretch'd in the noontide bower, as if the day He died Sept. 6th, 96, in his 320 year:
Declined not, and we yet might trill our lay His soul pleased the Lord, therefore hasted He to take him away.
Beneath the pleasant morning's purple wing This Tablet was erected to his Memory, with heart That fans us, while aloft the gay clouds shine! felt grief, and the tenderest atlection,
0, ere the coming of the long cold night, By PEXELOPE, eldest daughter of John LOVEDAY, Esq.;
RELIGION, may we bless thy purer light, and Penelope his wife,
That still shall warm us, when the tints decline Who, after many years of the most ardent friendship,
O’er earth's dim hemisphere, and sad we gaze became his wife and his widow in the course of eleven weeks!"
On the vain visions of our passing days!
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE.
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE was born at Bris- | maps with which he was reported to have supplied tol, about 1770, where he received the earliest por- the French government, in aid of their plans of intion of his education. He was afterwards sent to vasion. Christ's Hospital, London, where, he says, in his A perusal of Bowles's Sonnets appears to have Biographia Literaria, “I enjoyed the inestimable first inspired him with a taste for poetry, of which advantage of a very sensible, though, at the same his earliest specimen was given to the public in a time, a very severe master, the Rev. James Bowyer, small volume, published previously to the forewho early moulded my taste to the preference of going incident, in which publication a monody on Demosthenes to Cicero, of Homer and Theocritus to the death of the unfortunate Chatterton was uniVirgil, and again of Virgil to Ovid, &c.” From versally admired. In 1795, he published some antiChrist's Hospital he was sent to Jesus College, ministerial pamphlets; and in the following year, Cambridge, where he obtained the Sir William made an unsuccessful attempt to establish a periBrown's gold medal, for the best Greek ode, inodical paper, called The Watchman, at the pers121792. About the same time, he became acquainted sion, he says, of sundry philanthropists and antiwith Southey, then a student of Baliol College, polemists. His next publication was a poem on the Oxford, and, like himself, imbued with ardent pre- prospect of peace; he shortly afterwards accompadilections for poesy and liberty. With him and nied Sir Alexander Ball, governor of Malta, as his some other young men, he entered into a scheme, secretary ; and, on his return from this employwhich want of means alone prevented them from ment, became entitled to a pension. This so far putting into execution, for settling on the Susque- improving his circumstances as to leave him at bannah river, in North America, under a panti- full liberty to pursue his literary designs, he ensocratic form of society. About 1794, he retired to gaged in the publication of a variety of works, and Alforton, in Somersetshire, where he was joined delivered two public courses of lectures, one on the by his friend Wordsworth, with whom he passed plays of Shakspeare, and another on poetry and the his timc in literary pursuits, and in wandering about belles lettres, which gained him a reputation for the Quantock bills, with such an air of mystery, considerable oratorical powers. In 1813, he pubthat they became objects of suspicion to the neigh- lished Remorse, a tragedy ; followed, in 1817, by bourhood. A spy was set upon their conduct, and Sibylline Leaves; A Collection of Poems; his an examination actually appears to have taken Biographia Literaria, or biographical sketches of his place, by the village authorities, of a poor rustic life and opinions ; and other works, poetical and who was supposed to have discovered their dan- political. In 1818, he commenced The Friend, a gerous designs. Our author has given a ludicrous series of essays, that extended to three volumes; account of this in the work before quoted from, and and in the tenth and eleventh numbers of which, the conclusion is worth extracting, as developing he says, he has left a record of his principles. In somewhat of his habits and character. “Has not 1825, he published Aids to Reflection, in the forthis Mr. Coleridge been wandering on the hills mation of a manly character, &c.; and, in 1830, his towards the channel, and along the shore, with Treatise on the Constitution of the Church and books and papers in his hand, taking charts and State, according to the idea of each : with aids tomaps of the country?"_“ Why, as to that, your wards a right judgment of the late Catholic bill. honour," was the rustic's reply; “I am sure I Mr. Coleridge towards the close of life resided at would not wish to say ill of anybody ; but it is Highgate, where he occasionally received his litecertain that I have heard—” “ Speak out, man! rary friends, and passed his time in reading, and don't be afraid: you are doing your duty to your the amusements of his garden. He was said to king and government. What have you heard?” excel all his contemporaries in powers of argu“Why, folks do say, your honour, as how that he ment; and, when once fairly launched on any fais a poet; and that he is going to put Quan-vourite topic, to be possessed of the faculty of rivettock, and all about here, in print; and as they ing for hours, the attention of his audience by the (Wordsworth and Coleridge) be so much together, charm of his eloquence alone. He died July 25th, I suppose that the strange gentleman (Wordsworth) | 1834. has some consarn in the business." The business In addition to the works already mentioned, which engaged him was the composition of a poem, he wrote, during the peace of Amiens, essays to be called The Brook, which, had he finished, it for The Morning Post and Courier. Mr. Fox is was his intention to have dedicated to the commit- said to have pointed his allusion to these contributec of public safety, as containing the charts and tions, when he declared, that the war, which fol
lowed the above treaty, was a war raised by The , thor upon this subject, to solve the riddle which Morning Post. Whilst Mr. Coleridge was staying is appended as a conclusion to Christabel. He at Rome, Bonaparte is said to have sent an order might as well attribute deficiency of capacity to a for his arrest, from which he was rescued, partly, by beholder of his countenance, who should fail, in its the forbearance of the late pope, Pius the Seventh. workings, to discover the exact emotions of his Our poet, however, has never displayed any evi- mind; for Mr. Coleridge has afforded no clearer clue dence of his having been guided by any fixed poli- to the generality of his poetical arcana. This is tical creed; and he altogether disowns, as was particularly manifest in his singularly wild and hinted by The Morning Chronicle, that he ever striking poem of The Ancient Mariner, on which he bettered his fortune by his labours as a political is said to have written the following epigram, adwriter. Indeed, it is as a poet only that he will dressed to himself : be known by posterity; however zealously his friends may labour to procure a reputation for him
“Your poem must eternal be,
Dear sir! it cannot fail; as the founder of a sect in morals or philosophy.
For, 'tis incomprehensible, The chief fault of Coleridge's poetry lies in the style,
And without head or tail." which has been justly objected to on account of its obscurity, general turgidness of diction, and a pro Mr. Coleridge is unquestionably at the head of fusion of new-coined double epithets. With regard | the Lake school of poetry, and excels all his fraterto its obscurity, he says, in the preface to a late nity of that class in feeling, fancy, and sublimity. edition of his poems, that where he appears un Some of his minor poems will bear con rison with intelligible, “the deficiency is in the reader.” This those of the bards of this or any other age or counis nothing more or less than to suppose his readers try; and his verses on Love appear to us the most endowed with the powers of divination ; for we touching, delicate, and beautiful delineation of that defy any one who is not in the confidence of the au- passion that ever was penned.
who died of an apoplexy on the 17th of November, 1790 ; having just concluded a subsidiary treaty with the kings combined against France. The first and second antistrophe describe the image of the departing year, etc. as in a vision. The second epode prophesies, in anguish of spirit, the downfall of this country.
I. POEMS OCCASIONED BY POLITICAL EVENTS
OR FEELINGS CONNECTED WITH THEM.
When I have borne in memory what has lamed
ODE TO THE DEPARTING YEAR.*
Ind, ioù, w kaxá.
Æschyl. Agam. 1225.
vidence, that regulates into one vast harmony all the
SPIRIT who sweepest the wild harp of time!
It is most hard with an uptroubled ear
Thy dark inwoven harmonies to hear !
With inward stillness, and submitted mind;
When lo! its folds far waving on the wind, I saw the train of the departing year!
Starting from my silent sadness,
Then with no unholy madness,
From the prison's direr gloom,
From distemper's midnight anguish;
Or where, his two bright torches blending,
Love illumines manhood's maze ;
Hither, in perplexed dance,
Whose indefatigable sweep
Raises its fateful strings from sleep,
And each domestic hearth,
2 x 2
* This ode was composed on the 24th, 25th, and 26th days of December, 1796: and was first published on the last day of that year.