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The humming-bird, from bloom to bloom, inhaling heavenly balm ; The raven, in the tempest's gloom, the halcyon in the calm :
The woodlark in his mournful hours, the goldfinch in his mirth; The thrush, a spendthrift of his powers, enrapturing heaven and
earth; The swan, in majesty and grace, contemplative and still : But roused—no falcon in the chase could like his satire kill; The linnet, in simplicity; in tenderness, the dove ; But more than all beside was he the nightingale in love. Oh! had he never stooped to shame, nor lent a charm to vice, How had devotion loved to name that bird of paradise ! Peace to the dead! In Scotia's choir of minstrels great and small, He sprang from his spontaneous fire, the phenix of them all!
One of the most spirit-stirring poems in the language is Montgomery's Patriot's Pass-word. It is founded on the heroic achievement of Arnold de Winkelried, at the battle of Sempach, in which the Swiss insurgents secured the freedom of their country against the despotic power of Austria, in the fourteenth century :
In arms the Austrian phalanx stood, -
Marshalled once more at Freedom's call,
Where he who conquered, he who fell,
Tell where the bolt would strike, and how.
Swift to the breach his comrades Ay;
It was remarked by Wordsworth, that many great men of this age had done wonderful things, but that COLERIDGE was the only wonderful man he ever knew : and this opinion was shared by many others who visited the author of The Ancient Mariner. His character has been compared to a vast unfinished cathedral or palace, beautiful in its decoration and gigantic in its proportions, but incomplete. Coleridge is said to have left behind him a prodigious amount of treatises—unfinished. Lamb informs us that, two days before his death, he wrote to a bookseller, proposing an epic poem, on The Wanderings of Cain, to be in twenty-four books. His early devotion to metaphysical studies continued with him through life, as well as his love of poesy, which he tells us had been to him “its own exceeding great reward.” This is seen, indeed, in the gush of poetic joy which pervades the following beautiful retrospect :
Verse, a breeze mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee,–
When I was young!
When I was young ?-Ah, woful when!
This body that does me grievous wrong,
How lightly then it flashed along ;
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Flowers are lovely; love is flower-like ;
Friendship is a sheltering tree;
Of friendship, love, and liberty,
Ere I was old ? —Ah, woful ere !
'Tis known that thou and I were one ;
It cannot be that thou art gone !