The Essential Poems - Samuel Taylor Coleridge - ebook

The Essential Poems ebook

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Endowed with an intellect of the first order, and an imagination at once delicate and splendid, Coleidge, from a weakness of moral constitution and his lamentable habit, fell far short of the performance which he had planned, and which included various epic poems, and a complete system of philosophy, in which all knowledge was to be co-ordinated. He has, however, left enough poetry of such excellence as to place him in the first rank of English poets. This edition includes his masterpieces, in the first rank his "Rime of the Ancient Mariner."

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The Essential Poems

 

SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE

 

 

 

 

The Essential Poems, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck

86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9

Deutschland

 

ISBN: 9783849652234

 

www.jazzybee-verlag.de

[email protected]

 

 

 

CONTENTS:

 

THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER.. 1

CHRISTABEL. 16

KUBLA KHAN.. 31

LEWTI OR THE CIRCASSIAN LOVE-CHAUNT.. 32

THE BALLAD OF THE DARK LADIE A FRAGMENT.. 34

LOVE.. 35

THE THREE GRAVES. 38

DEJECTION: AN ODE.. 45

ODE TO TRANQUILLITY.. 49

FRANCE: AN ODE.. 50

FEARS IN SOLITUDE.. 53

THIS LIME-TREE BOWER MY PRISON.. 58

TO A GENTLEMAN.. 60

HYMN BEFORE SUN-RISE, IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNI. 62

FROST AT MIDNIGHT.. 64

THE NIGHTINGALE.. 66

THE EOLIAN HARP. 69

THE PICTURE.. 70

THE GARDEN OF BOCCACCIO.. 75

THE TWO FOUNTS. 77

A DAY-DREAM... 78

SONNET.. 79

LINES TO W. LINLEY, ESQ.80

DOMESTIC PEACE.. 80

SONG.. 80

HUNTING SONG.. 81

WESTPHALIAN SONG.. 81

YOUTH AND AGE.. 82

WORK WITHOUT HOPE.. 83

TIME, REAL AND IMAGINARY.. 83

LOVE'S APPARITION AND EVANISHMENT.. 84

L'ENVOY.. 84

LOVE, HOPE, AND PATIENCE IN EDUCATION.. 84

DUTY SURVIVING SELF-LOVE.. 85

LOVE'S FIRST HOPE.. 86

PHANTOM... 86

TO NATURE.. 86

FANCY IN NUBIBUS. 86

CONSTANCY TO AN IDEAL OBJECT.. 87

PHANTOM OR FACT.. 88

LINES. 88

REFLECTION ON THE ABOVE.. 88

FORBEARANCE.. 89

SANCTI DOMINICI PALLIUM... 90

ON DONNE'S POETRY.. 91

ON A BAD SINGER.. 92

NE PLUS ULTRA.. 92

HUMAN LIFE.. 92

THE BUTTERFLY.. 93

THE PANG MORE SHARP THAN ALL. 93

THE VISIONARY HOPE.. 95

THE PAINS OF SLEEP. 96

LOVE'S BURIAL-PLACE.. 97

LOVE, A SWORD.. 97

THE KISS. 97

NOT AT HOME.. 98

NAMES. 98

TO LESBIA.. 99

THE DEATH OF THE STARLING.. 99

ON A CATARACT.. 100

HYMN TO THE EARTH.. 100

THE VISIT OF THE GODS. 101

TRANSLATION OF A PASSAGE IN OTTFRIED'S METRICAL PARAPHRASE OF THE GOSPEL  102

THE VIRGIN'S CRADLE-HYMN.. 103

EPITAPH ON AN INFANT.. 103

ON AN INFANT WHICH DIED BEFORE BAPTISM... 103

EPITAPH ON AN INFANT.. 103

AN ODE TO THE RAIN.. 104

ANSWER TO A CHILD'S QUESTION.. 106

SOMETHING CHILDISH, BUT VERY NATURAL. 106

LINES ON A CHILD.. 106

THE KNIGHT'S TOMB.. 107

FIRE, FAMINE, AND SLAUGHTER.. 107

THE TWO ROUND SPACES ON THE TOMBSTONE.. 109

THE DEVIL'S THOUGHTS. 110

COLOGNE.. 111

SONNETS ATTEMPTED IN THE MANNER OF CONTEMPORARY WRITERS  112

ON A RUINED HOUSE IN A ROMANTIC COUNTRY.. 112

LIMBO.. 113

METRICAL FEET.. 114

THE HOMERIC HEXAMETER DESCRIBED AND EXEMPLIFIED.. 114

THE OVIDIAN ELEGIAC METRE DESCRIBED AND EXEMPLIFIED.. 114

CATULLIAN HENDECASYLLABLES. 115

TO ——... 115

EPITAPH ON A BAD MAN.. 115

THE SUICIDE'S ARGUMENT.. 115

NATURE'S ANSWER.. 116

THE GOOD, GREAT MAN.. 116

REPLY TO THE ABOVE.. 116

INSCRIPTION FOR A FOUNTAIN ON A HEATH.. 116

INSCRIPTION FOR A TIME-PIECE.. 117

A TOMBLESS EPITAPH.. 117

EPITAPH.. 118

THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER

IN SEVEN PARTS

 

Facile credo, plures esse Naturas invisibiles quam visibiles in rerum universitate. Sed horum omnium familiam quis nobis enarrabit? et gradus et cognationes et discrimina et singulorum munera? Quid agunt? quæ loca habitant? Harum rerum notitiam semper ambivit ingenium humanum, nunquam attigit. Juvat, interea, non diffiteor, quandoque in animo, tanquam in tabulâ, majoris et melioris mundi imaginem contemplari: ne mens assuefacta hodiernæ vitæ minutiis se contrahat nimis, et tota subsidat in pusillas cogitationes. Sed veritati interea invigilandum est, modusque servandus, ut certa ab incertis, diem a nocte, distinguamus.—T. BURNET, Archæol. Phil. p. 68.

ARGUMENT

How a Ship having passed the Line was driven by storms to the cold Country towards the South Pole; and how from thence she made her course to the tropical Latitude of the Great Pacific Ocean; and of the strange things that befell; and in what manner the Ancyent Marinere came back to his own Country.

PART I

  It is an ancient Mariner,

  And he stoppeth one of three.

  "By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,

  Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

  "The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide,

  And I am next of kin;

  The guests are met, the feast is set:

  May'st hear the merry din."

  He holds him with his skinny hand,

  "There was a ship," quoth he.

  "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"

  Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

  He holds him with his glittering eye

  The Wedding-Guest stood still,

  And listens like a three years' child:

  The Mariner hath his will.

  The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:

  He cannot choose but hear;

  And thus spake on that ancient man,

  The bright-eyed Mariner.

  "The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,

  Merrily did we drop

  Below the kirk, below the hill,

  Below the lighthouse top.

  The sun came up upon the left,

  Out of the sea came he!

  And he shone bright, and on the right

  Went down into the sea.

  Higher and higher every day,

  Till over the mast at noon—"

  The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,

  For he heard the loud bassoon.

  The bride hath paced into the hall,

  Red as a rose is she;

  Nodding their heads before her goes

  The merry minstrelsy.

  The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,

  Yet he cannot choose but hear;

  And thus spake on that ancient man,

  The bright-eyed Mariner.

  "And now the Storm-blast came, and he

  Was tyrannous and strong:

  He struck with his o'ertaking wings

  And chased us south along.

  With sloping masts and dipping prow,

  As who pursued with yell and blow

  Still treads the shadow of his foe,

  And forward bends his head,

  The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,

  And southward aye we fled.

  And now there came both mist and snow,

  And it grew wondrous cold:

  And ice, mast-high, came floating by,

  As green as emerald.

  And through the drifts the snowy clifts

  Did send a dismal sheen:

  Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken—

  The ice was all between.

  The ice was here, the ice was there,

  The ice was all around:

  It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,

  Like noises in a swound!

  At length did cross an Albatross,

  Thorough the fog it came;

  As if it had been a Christian soul,

  We hailed it in God's name.

  It ate the food it ne'er had eat,

  And round and round it flew.

  The ice did split with a thunder-fit;

  The helmsman steered us through!

  And a good south wind sprung up behind;

  The Albatross did follow,

  And every day, for food or play,

  Came to the mariners' hollo!

  In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,

  It perched for vespers nine;

  Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,

  Glimmered the white moon-shine."

  "God save thee, ancient Mariner!

  From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—

  Why look'st thou so?"—With my cross-bow

  I shot the Albatross.

* * * * *

PART II

  The Sun now rose upon the right:

  Out of the sea came he,

  Still hid in mist, and on the left

  Went down into the sea.

  And the good south wind still blew behind,

  But no sweet bird did follow,

  Nor any day for food or play

  Came to the mariners' hollo!

  And I had done a hellish thing,

  And it would work 'em woe:

  For all averred, I had killed the bird

  That made the breeze to blow.

  Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,

  That made the breeze to blow!

  Nor, dim nor red, like God's own head,

  The glorious Sun uprist:

  Then all averred, I had killed the bird

  That brought the fog and mist.

  'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,

  That bring the fog and mist.

  The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,

  The furrow followed free;

  We were the first that ever burst

  Into that silent sea.

  Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,

  'Twas sad as sad could be;

  And we did speak only to break

  The silence of the sea!

  All in a hot and copper sky,

  The bloody Sun, at noon,

  Right up above the mast did stand,

  No bigger than the Moon.

  Day after day, day after day,

  We stuck, nor breath nor motion;

  As idle as a painted ship

  Upon a painted ocean.

  Water, water, every where,

  And all the boards did shrink;

  Water, water, every where

  Nor any drop to drink.

  The very deep did rot: O Christ!

  That ever this should be!

  Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs

  Upon the slimy sea.

  About, about, in reel and rout

  The death-fires danced at night;

  The water, like a witch's oils,

  Burnt green, and blue and white.

  And some in dreams assured were ,

  Of the Spirit that plagued us so;

  Nine fathom deep he had followed us

  From the land of mist and snow.

  And every tongue, through utter drought,

  Was withered at the root;

  We could not speak, no more than if

  We had been choked with soot.

  Ah! well a-day! what evil looks

  Had I from old and young!

  Instead of the cross, the Albatross

  About my neck was hung.

PART III

  There passed a weary time. Each throat

  Was parched, and glazed each eye.

  A weary time! a weary time!

  How glazed each weary eye,

  When looking westward, I beheld

  A something in the sky.

  At first it seemed a little speck,

  And then it seemed a mist;

  It moved and moved, and took at last

  A certain shape, I wist.

  A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!

  And still it neared and neared:

  As if it dodged a water-sprite,

  It plunged and tacked and veered.

  With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,

  We could nor laugh nor wail;

  Through utter drought all dumb we stood!

  I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,

  And cried, A sail! a sail!

  With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,

  Agape they heard me call:

  Gramercy! they for joy did grin,

  And all at once their breath drew in,

  As they were drinking all.

  See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more!

  Hither to work us weal;

  Without a breeze, without a tide,

  She steadies with upright keel!

  The western wave was all a-flame,

  The day was well nigh done!

  Almost upon the western wave

  Rested the broad bright Sun;

  When that strange shape drove suddenly

  Betwixt us and the Sun.

  And straight the Sun was flecked with bars,

  (Heaven's Mother send us grace!)

  As if through a dungeon-grate he peered

  With broad and burning face.

  Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)

  How fast she nears and nears!

  Are those her sails that glance in the Sun,

  Like restless gossameres?

  Are those her ribs through which the Sun

  Did peer, as through a grate?

  And is that Woman all her crew?

  Is that a Death? and are there two?

  Is Death that Woman's mate?

  Her lips were red, her looks were free,

  Her locks were yellow as gold:

  Her skin was as white as leprosy,

  The Night-mare Life-in-Death was she,

  Who thicks man's blood with cold.

  The naked hulk alongside came,

  And the twain were casting dice;

  "The game is done! I've won! I've won!"

  Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

  The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out:

  At one stride comes the dark;

  With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea,

  Off shot the spectre-bark.

  We listened and looked sideways up!

  Fear at my heart, as at a cup,

  My life-blood seemed to sip!

  The stars were dim, and thick the night,

  The steersman's face by his lamp gleamed white;

  From the sails the dew did drip—

  Till clomb above the eastern bar

  The horned Moon, with one bright star

  Within the nether tip.

  One after one, by the star-dogged Moon,

  Too quick for groan or sigh,

  Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,

  And cursed me with his eye.

  Four times fifty living men,

  (And I heard nor sigh nor groan)

  With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,

  They dropped down one by one.

  The souls did from their bodies fly,—

  They fled to bliss or woe!

  And every soul, it passed me by,

  Like the whizz of my cross-bow!

PART IV

  "I fear thee, ancient Mariner!

  I fear thy skinny hand!

  And thou art long, and lank, and brown,

  As is the ribbed sea-sand.[1]

  I fear thee and thy glittering eye,

  And thy skinny hand, so brown."—

  Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest!

  This body dropt not down.

  Alone, alone, all, all alone,

  Alone on a wide wide sea!

  And never a saint took pity on

  My soul in agony.

  The many men, so beautiful!

  And they all dead did lie:

  And a thousand thousand slimy things

  Lived on; and so did I.

  I looked upon the rotting sea,

  And drew my eyes away;

  I looked upon the rotting deck,

  And there the dead men lay.

  I looked to heaven, and tried to pray;

  But or ever a prayer had gusht,

  A wicked whisper came, and made

  My heart as dry as dust.

  I closed my lids, and kept them close,

  And the balls like pulses beat;

  For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky,

  Lay like a load on my weary eye,

  And the dead were at my feet.

  The cold sweat melted from their limbs,

  Nor rot nor reek did they:

  The look with which they looked on me

  Had never passed away.

  An orphan's curse would drag to hell

  A spirit from on high;

  But oh! more horrible than that

  Is a curse in a dead man's eye!

  Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,

  And yet I could not die.

  The moving Moon went up the sky,

  And no where did abide:

  Softly she was going up,

  And a star or two beside—

  Her beams bemocked the sultry main,

  Like April hoar-frost spread;

  But where the ship's huge shadow lay,

  The charmed water burnt alway

  A still and awful red.

  Beyond the shadow of the ship,

  I watched the water-snakes:

  They moved in tracks of shining white,

  And when they reared, the elfish light

  Fell off in hoary flakes.

  Within the shadow of the ship

  I watched their rich attire:

  Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,

  They coiled and swam; and every track

  Was a flash of golden fire.

  O happy living things! no tongue

  Their beauty might declare:

  A spring of love gushed from my heart,

  And I blessed them unaware:

  Sure my kind saint took pity on me,

  And I blessed them unaware.

  The selfsame moment I could pray;

  And from my neck so free

  The Albatross fell off, and sank

  Like lead into the sea.

 

PART V

  Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,

  Beloved from pole to pole!

  To Mary Queen the praise be given!

  She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,

  That slid into my soul.

  The silly buckets on the deck,

  That had so long remained,

  I dreamt that they were filled with dew;

  And when I awoke, it rained.

  My lips were wet, my throat was cold,

  My garments all were dank;

  Sure I had drunken in my dreams,

  And still my body drank.

  I moved, and could not feel my limbs:

  I was so light—almost

  I thought that I had died in sleep;

  And was a blessed ghost.

  And soon I heard a roaring wind:

  It did not come anear;

  But with its sound it shook the sails,

  That were so thin and sere.

  The upper air burst into life!

  And a hundred fire-flags sheen,

  To and fro they were hurried about!

  And to and fro, and in and out,

  The wan stars danced between.

  And the coming wind did roar more loud,

  And the sails did sigh like sedge;

  And the rain poured down from one black cloud;

  The Moon was at its edge.

  The thick black cloud was cleft, and still

  The Moon was at its side:

  Like waters shot from some high crag,

  The lightning fell with never a jag,

  A river steep and wide.

  The loud wind never reached the ship,

  Yet now the ship moved on!

  Beneath the lightning and the Moon

  The dead men gave a groan.

  They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,

  Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;

  It had been strange, even in a dream,!

  To have seen those dead men rise.

  The helmsman steered, the ship moved on;

  Yet never a breeze up blew;

  The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,

  Where they were wont to do;

  They raised their limbs like lifeless tools—

  We were a ghastly crew.

  The body of my brother's son

  Stood by me, knee to knee:

  The body and I pulled at one rope

  But he said nought to me.

  "I fear thee, ancient Mariner!"

  Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest!

  'Twas not those souls that fled in pain,

  Which to their corses came again,

  But a troop of spirits blest:

  For when it dawned—they dropped their arms,

  And clustered round the mast;

  Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,

  And from their bodies passed.

  Around, around, flew each sweet sound,

  Then darted to the Sun;

  Slowly the sounds came back again,

  Now mixed, now one by one.

  Sometimes a-dropping from the sky

  I heard the sky-lark sing;

  Sometimes all little birds that are,

  How they seemed to fill the sea and air

  With their sweet jargoning!

  And now 'twas like all instruments,

  Now like a lonely flute;

  And now it is an angel's song,

  That makes the heavens be mute.

  It ceased; yet still the sails made on

  A pleasant noise till noon,

  A noise like of a hidden brook

  In the leafy month of June,

  That to the sleeping woods all night

  Singeth a quiet tune.

  Till noon we quietly sailed on,

  Yet never a breeze did breathe:

  Slowly and smoothly went the ship,

  Moved onward from beneath.

  Under the keel nine fathom deep,

  From the land of mist and snow,

  The spirit slid: and it was he

  That made the ship to go.

  The sails at noon left off their tune,

  And the ship stood still also.

  The Sun, right up above the mast,

  Had fixed her to the ocean:

  But in a minute she 'gan stir,

  With a short uneasy motion—

  Backwards and forwards half her length

  With a short uneasy motion.

  Then like a pawing horse let go,

  She made a sudden bound:

  It flung the blood into my head,

  And I fell down in a swound.

  How long in that same fit I lay,

  I have not to declare;

  But ere my living life returned,

  I heard and in my soul discerned

  Two voices in the air.

  "Is it he?" quoth one, "Is this the man?

  By him who died on cross,

  With his cruel bow he laid full low

  The harmless Albatross.

  The spirit who bideth by himself

  In the land of mist and snow,

  He loved the bird that loved the man

  Who shot him with his bow."

  The other was a softer voice,

  As soft as honey-dew:

  Quoth he, "The man hath penance done,

  And penance more will do."

PART VI

FIRST VOICE

  "But tell me, tell me! speak again,

  Thy soft response renewing—

  What makes that ship drive on so fast?

  What is the ocean doing?"

SECOND VOICE

  "Still as a slave before his lord,

  The ocean hath no blast;

  His great bright eye most silently

  Up to the Moon is cast—

  If he may know which way to go;

  For she guides him smooth or grim.

  See, brother, see! how graciously

  She looketh down on him."

FIRST VOICE

  "But why drives on that ship so fast,

  Without or wave or wind?"

SECOND VOICE

  "The air is cut away before,

  And closes from behind.

  Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high!

  Or we shall be belated:

  For slow and slow that ship will go,

  When the Mariner's trance is abated."

  I woke, and we were sailing on

  As in a gentle weather:

  'Twas night, calm night, the moon was high,

  The dead men stood together.

  All stood together on the deck,

  For a charnel-dungeon fitter:

  All fixed on me their stony eyes,

  That in the Moon did glitter.

  The pang, the curse, with which they died,

  Had never passed away:

  I could not draw my eyes from theirs,

  Nor turn them up to pray.

  And now this spell was snapt: once more

  I viewed the ocean green,

  And looked far forth, yet little saw

  Of what had else been seen—

  Like one, that on a lonesome road

  Doth walk in fear and dread,

  And having once turned round walks on,

  And turns no more his head;

  Because he knows, a frightful fiend

  Doth close behind him tread.

  But soon there breathed a wind on me,

  Nor sound nor motion made:

  Its path was not upon the sea,

  In ripple or in shade.

  It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek

  Like a meadow-gale of spring—