1816 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

John Hamilton Reynolds, in "Pilgrimage of Living Poets to the Stream of Castaly" The Champion (7 April 1816) 110.



COLERIDGE, LAMB, AND LLOYD walked forth arm-in-arm, and moved gently to the [Castalian] stream: they conversed, as they passed, on the beauties of the country, — on its peaceful associations, and on the purity of domestic affections. Their conversation then turned to poetry, — and from the simplicity of the remarks of Lloyd and Lamb, I found that their very hearts were wedded to innocence and peace; — Coleridge talked in a higher strain, — but he at last confused himself with the abstruseness of his own observations: — he hinted at a metaphysical Poem he was about to write in 100 books, — Lamb remarked to him that he should prefer one of his affectionate and feeling sonnets to all his wanderings of mind. Each of these Poets held in his hand a simple porringer — declaring, that it brought the finest recollections of frugal fare and country quiet: — Lamb and Lloyd dipped in a bright but rather shallow part of the stream; — Coleridge went to the depths, where he might have caught the purest water, had he not unfortunately clouded it with the sand which he himself disturbed at the bottom. Lamb and Lloyd stated that they should take their porrengers home and share their contents with the amiable and simple hearts dwelling there; — Coleridge was not positive as to the use to which he should apply his portion of the stream, till he had ascertained what were the physical reasons for the sand's propensity to mount and curl itself in water: he thought, however, of clubbing it with the portions of his companions and making a lake of the whole. — These three Poets left the stream in the same manner they approached it.