1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Mary Robinson, "To the Poet Colerdige" 1800; Robinson, Poetical Works (1806) 1:226-29.



RAPT in the visionary theme!
SPIRIT DIVINE! with THEE I'll wander,
Where the blue, wavy, lucid stream,
'Mid forest glooms, shall slow meander!
With THEE I'll trace the circling bounds
Of thy NEW PARADISE extended;
And listen to the varying sounds
Of winds, and foamy torrents blended.

Now by the source which lab'ring heaves
The mystic fountain, bubbling, panting,
While Gossamer its net-work weaves,
Adown the blue lawn slanting!
I'll mark thy sunny dome, and view
Thy Caves of Ice, thy fields of dew!
Thy ever-blooming mead, whose flow'r
Waves to the cold breath of the moonlight hour!
Or when the day-star, peering bright
On the grey wing of parting night;
While more than vegetating pow'r
Throbs grateful to the burning hour,
As summer's whisper'd sighs unfold
Her million, million buds of gold;
Then will I climb the breezy bounds,
Of thy NEW PARADISE extended,
And listen to the distant sounds
Of winds, and foamy torrents blended!

SPIRIT DIVINE! With THEE I'll trace
Imagination's boundless space
With thee, beneath thy sunny dome,
I'll listen to the minstrel's lay,
Hymning, the gradual close of day;
In Caves of Ice enchanted roam,
Where on the glitt'ring entrance plays
The moon's-beam with its silv'ry rays;
Or, when glassy stream,
That thro' the deep dell flows,
Flashes the noon's hot beam;
The noon's hot beam, that midway shows
Thy flaming Temple, studded o'er
With all PERUVIA'S lustrous store!
There will I trace the circling bounds
Of thy NEW PARADISE extended!
And listen to the awful sounds,
Of winds, and foamy torrents blended!

And now I'll pause to catch the moan
Of distant breezes, cavern-pent;
Now, ere the twilight tints are flown,
Purpling the landscape, far and wide,
On the dark promontory's side
I'll gather wild flow'rs, dew besprent,
And weave a crown for THEE,
GENIUS OF HEAV'N-TAUGHT POESY!
While, op'ning to my wond'ring eyes,
Thou bidst a new creation rise,
I'll raptur'd trace the circling bounds,
Of thy RICH PARADISE extended,
And listen to the varying sounds
Of winds, and foaming torrents blended.

And now, with lofty tones inviting,
Thy NYMPH, her dulcimer swift smiting,
Shall wake me in ecstatic measures!
Far, far remov'd from mortal pleasures!
In cadence rich, in cadence strong,
Proving the wondrous witcheries of song!
I hear her voice! thy sunny dome,
Thy caves of ice, loud repeat,
Vibrations, madd'ning sweet,
Calling the visionary wand'rer home.
She sings of THEE, O favour'd child
Of Minstrelsy, SUBLIMELY WILD!
Of thee, whose soul can feel the tone
Which gives to airy dreams a magic ALL THY OWN!