The Complete Poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Penguin Classics)
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One of the major figures of English Romanticism, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) created works of remarkable diversity and imaginative genius. The period of his creative friendship with William Wordsworth inspired some of Coleridge's best-known poems, from the nightmarish vision of the 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' and the opium-inspired 'Kubla Khan' to the sombre passion of 'Dejection: An Ode' and the medieval ballad 'Christabel'. His meditative 'conversation' poems, such as 'Frost at Midnight' and 'This Lime-Tree Bower Mr Prison', reflect on remembrance and solitude, while late works, such as 'Youth and Age' and 'Constancy to an Ideal Object', are haunting meditations on mortality and lost love.
even as life returns upon the drowned, Life’s joy rekindling roused a throng of pains – Keen pangs of Love, awakening as a babe Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart; And fears self-willed, that shunned the eye of hope; And hope that scarce would know itself from fear; Sense of past youth, and manhood come in vain, 70 And genius given, and knowledge won in vain; And all which I had culled in wood-walks wild, And all which patient toil had reared, and all, Commune with thee had opened
Here I stand, a hopeless man and sad Who hoped to have seen my Love, my Life. And strange it were indeed, could I be glad Remembring her, my Soul’s betrothed Wife/ For in this World no creature, that has life, Was e’er to me so gracious & so good/ Her Love was to my Heart, like the Heart-blood. [Lines from a notebook – May – June 1811] O mercy, O me miserable man! Slowly my wisdom, & how slowly comes My Virtue! and how rapidly pass off My Joys, my Hopes, my Friendships, & my
eye While Faith proclaims ‘‘thou shalt not die!’’ ’ A Wish Written in Jesus Wood, Feb. 10th, 1792 Lo! thro’ the dusky silence of the groves, Thro’ vales irriguous, and thro’ green retreats, With languid murmur creeps the placid stream, And works its secret way! Awhile meand’ring round its native fields It rolls the playful wave, and winds its flight: Then downward flowing with awaken’d speed Embosoms in the Deep! Thus thro’ its silent tenor may my Life 10 Smooth its meek
Mignon’s famous song from Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister (‘Kennst du das Land’). Beer gives a conjectural date of composition of 1823–4 in Everyman. The Reproof and Reply First published in Friendship’s Offering for 1834 (see headnote to ‘Lines to a Comic Author’ above), introduced by the following motto: ‘I expect no sense, worth listening to, from the man who never does talk nonsense. – Anon.’ Included in 1834, from which the present text is taken. E. H. Coleridge says that the text in 1912
sunny glade, – There came and looked him in the face 50 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 60 The scorn that crazed his brain; – And that she nursed him in a cave; And how his madness went away, When