« PreviousContinue »
The Raven, a Christmas Tale, told by a School-
Absence; a Farewell Ode on quitting School
for Jesus College, Cambridge - -
— - O what a loud and fearful shriek
– “ Thou gentle look, that didst my soul
— a Thou bleedest, my poor heart! and
1795 . . - - - - - -
in Germany . . . . . . ib.
The Happy Husband; a Fragmen ib.
III. Medit Ative poems.
On observing a Blossom on the 1st of February,
To a Friend, who had declared his intention REMORSE; a Tragedy, in Five Acts
an Individual Mind - - - 41 - on t-
Addressed to a Young Man of Fortune, who Phantom or Fact? a Dialogue, in Verse . ib.
Tell's Birth-place—imitated from Stolberg . 53 Fancy in Nubibus, or the Poet in the Clouds ib.
M THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER
#iemoir of Şamuel QTaylor Coleriuge,
There is no writer of his time who has been more the theme of panegyric by his friends, and of censure by his enemies, than Coleridge. It has been the custom of the former to injure him by extr vagant praise, and of the latter to pour upon his head much unmerited abuse. Coleridge has left undone so much which his talents and genius would have enabled him to effect, and has done on the whole so little, that he has given his foes apparent foundation for some of their vituperation. His natural character, however, is indolent; he is far more ambitious of excelling in conversation, and of pouring out his wild philosophical theories—of discoursing about
the mysteries of Kant, and the dreams of metaphysical vanity, than - in building the lofty rhyme... His poems, however, which have been recently collected, form several volumes;– and the beauty of some of his pieces so amply redeems the extravagance of others, that there can be but one regret respecting him, namely, that be should have preferred the short-lived perishing applause bestowed upon his conversation, to the lasting renown attending successful Poetical efforts. Not but that Coleridge may lay claim to the praise due to a successful worship of the muses; for as long as the English language endures, his a Geneviève- and Ancient Mariner" will be read : but he has been content to do far less than his abilities clearly demonstrate him able to effect. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born at Ottery saint Mary, a town of Devonshire, in 1773. His rather, the fiev. John Coleridge, was vicar there, having been previously a schoolmaster at South Molton. He is said to have been a person cf considerable learning, and to have published several essays in fugitive publications. He assisted for Kennicot in collating his manuscripts for a Hebrew bible, and, among other things, wrote a dissertation on the Aoyos." He was also the author of an excellent Latin grammar. He died in 1782, at the age of sixty-two, much regretted, leaving a considerable family, three of which, if
so many, are all who now survive; and of these the poet is the youngest. Coleridge was educated at Christ's Hospitalschool, London. The smallness of his father's living and large family rendered the strictest economy necessary. At this excellent seminary he was soon discovered to be a boy of talent, eccentric but acute. According to his own statement the master, the Rev. J. Bowyer, was a severe disciplinarian after the inane practice of English grammar-school modes, but was fond of encouraging genius, even in the lads he flagellated most unmercifully. He taught with assiduity, and directed the taste of youth to the beauties of the better classical authors, and to comparisons of one with another. - He habituated me," says Coleridge, a to compare Lucretius, Terence, and above all the chaste poems of Catullus, not only with the Roman poets of the so called silver and brazen ages, but with even those of the Augustan era; and, on grounds of plain sense and universal logic, to see and assert the superiority of the former, in the truth and nativeness both of their thoughts and diction. At the same time that we were studying the Greek tragic poets, he made us read Shakspeare and Milton as lessons; and they were the lessons too which required most time and trouble to bring up, so as to escape his censure. I learned from bin that poetry, even that of the loftiest, and seemingly that of the wildest odes, had a logic of its own, as severe as that of science, and more difficult; because more subtle and complex, and dependent on more and more fugitive causes. In our English compositions (at least for the last three years of our school education) he showed no mercy to phrase, image, or metaphor, unsupported by a sound sense, or where the same sense might have been conveyed with equal force and dignity in plainer words. Lute, harp, and lyre, muse, muses, and inspirations—Pegasus, Parnassus and Hippocrene, were all an abomination to him. In fancy, I can almost hear him now exclaiming—a Harp ! harp! lyre! pen and ink, boy, you means muse, boy muse! your nurse's daughter, you mean : Pierian spring ! O ay! the cloister pump, I suppose." In his • Literary Life," Coleridge has gone into the con