1831 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

John Wilson, in "An Hour's Talk about Poetry" 1831; Recreations of Christopher North (1852) 75.



It is easy to talk — not very difficult to speechify — hard to speak; but to "discourse" is a gift rarely bestowed by Heaven on mortal man. Coleridge has it in perfection. While he is discoursing, the world loses all its commonplaces, and you and your wife imagine yourself Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. You would no more dream of wishing him to be mute for awhile, than you would a river that "imposes silence a with a silly sound." Whether you understand two consecutive sentences, we shall not stop too curiously to inquire; but you do something better, you feel the whole just like any other divine music.