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Higher still and higher,

From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;

The blue deep thou wingest,

And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightning

Of the sunken sun,

O'er which clouds are bright'ning,

Thou dost float and run;

Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of heaven,

In the broad daylight

Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.

Keen as are the arrows
Of that silver sphere,

Whose intense lamp narrows

In the white dawn clear,

Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

All the earth and air

With thy voice is loud,

As, when night is bare,
From one lonely cloud

The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.

What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee?

From rainbow clouds there flow not

Drops so bright to see,

As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,

Till the world is wrought

To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

Like a high-born maiden

In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden
Soul in secret hour

With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

Like a glow-worm golden

In a dell of dew,

Scattering unbeholden

Its aerial hue

Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view:

Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves,

By warm winds deflowered,
Till the scent it gives

Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged thieves:

Sound of vernal showers

On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awaken'd flowers,

All that ever was

Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, sprite or bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine:

I have never heard

Praise of love or wine

That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus Hymeneal,

Or triumphal chaunt,

Match'd with thine would be all

But an empty vaunt—

A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain?

What fields, or waves, or mountains?

What shapes of sky or plain?

What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?

With thy clear keen joyance
Languor cannot be:

Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee:

Thou lovest; but never knew love's sad satiety.

Waking or asleep,

Thou of death must deem

Things more true and deep
Than we mortals dream,

Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not:

Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet if we could scorn

Hate, and pride, and fear;

If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,

I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures
Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures,

That in books are found,

Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

Teach me half thy gladness

That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness,

From my lips would flow,

The world should listen then, as I am listening now.


SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE was born on the 20th of October, 1772, at Ottery St. Mary, in Devonshire. His father was a learned clergyman; and the Poet was the youngest of eleven children. In 1782, he was admitted into Christ's Hospital, London, where, according to his own account, he enjoyed the inestimable advantage of a very sensible, though at the same time, a very severe master." At a premature age, even before his fifteenth year, he had “bewildered himself in metaphysical and theological controversy;" yet he pursued his studies with so much zeal and perseverance, that in 1791 he became Grecian, or captain of the school, which entitled him to an exhibition at the University; he was entered at Jesus College, Cambridge. Three years afterwards, in an inauspicions hour he left the friendly cloisters," without assigning any cause, and without taking his degree; and again came to London. There, without the means of support, he wandered for some days about the streets, and enlisted in the 15th Dragoons. While doing duty at Reading, he wrote on the wall of the stable a Latin sentence, which chanced to meet the eye of one of the officers. The inquiry that followed led to his discharge. In 1794, he published a small volume of Poems. Subsequently, the taint of French republicanism fell upon him; and he lectured at Bristol in praise of the Dæmon that had stolen, and was for a time welcomed in, the garb of liberty. In 1795, he married; and in 1798 he visited Germany. In 1800, he returned to England; and although he had formerly professed Unitarianism, and had preached to a congregation at Taunton, he became a firm adherent to the doctrines of Christianity; or, to use his own expression, found a "reconversion." Afterwards, he "wasted the prime and manhood of his intellect," as the Editor of a Newspaper. During the last nineteen years of his life he resided with his faithful and devoted friends Mr. and Mrs. Gilman, at Highgate; lecturing occasionally, writing poetry and prose, and delighting and instructing all who had the good fortune to be admitted to his society. He died on the 25th of July, 1834.

The friends who knew him best, and under the shelter of whose roof-tree the later and the happier years of his chequered life were passed, have recorded their opinion of his character on the tablet that marks his grave in the Church at Highgate; and all who enjoyed the privilege of his acquaintance will bear testimony to its

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