ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
, "Ode, inscribed to the Infant Son of S. T. Coleridge, Esq. born Sept. 14, at Keswick, in Cumberland" Morning Post and Gazetteer (17 October 1800).
Samuel Taylor Coleridge:
1794: Not to be Mistaken
1796: Charles Lamb
1796 ca.: James Jennings
1797: Anna Laetitia Barbauld
1797: Charles Lamb
1797 ca.: Thomas Sanderson
1797: George Dyer
1798: Anna Seward
1798: Robert Southey
1799: Charles Burney
1800: Mary Robinson
1800: Mary Robinson
1801: Alexander Thomson
1804: Capel Lofft
1804: Robert Southey
1804: George Dyer
1808: Edward Jerningham
1808: Thomas Stott
1809: Lord Byron
1810: Sir Walter Scott
1812: Charles Lamb
1813: Rev. Francis Hodgson
1814: Thomas Barnes
1816: John Hamilton Reynolds
1816: Charles Lamb
1816: Thomas Moore
1817: William Hazlitt
1819: William Maginn
1820: Percy Bysshe Shelley
1820: David Carey
1822: N. R.
1822: James Harley
1824: Mary Howitt
1825: William Hazlitt
1825: John Herman Merivale
1826: Sumner Lincoln Fairfield
1827: A. P.
1828: Leigh Hunt
1828: Sir Walter Scott
1829: A. P.
1830 ca.: Rev. Henry Francis Cary
1830: Rev. George Barrell Cheever
1830: Richard Warner
1831: John Wilson
1833: John Wilson
1833: Allan Cunningham
1833: William Maginn
1834: Felicia Hemans
1834: Robert Southey
1834: Charles Lamb
1834: Washington Allston
1834: Henry Nelson Coleridge
1835: John Abraham Heraud
1836: Isaac Clark Pray
1839: Thomas Hood
1844: Leigh Hunt
1846: John Dix
1847: Cyrus Redding
1851: Dr. David Macbeth Moir
1852: Mary Russell Mitford
1854: Robert Shelton Mackenzie
1856: Samuel Rogers
1858: Cyrus Redding
1864 ca.: Zilla Watts
1866: Bryan Waller Procter
1871: S. C. Hall
1873: Joseph Devey
1878: Charles and Mary Cowden Clarke
1880: Walter Pater
1785: Thomas Chatterton
1788 ca.: Robert Merry
1791: Thomas Chatterton
1794: Rev. John Whitehouse
1795 ca.: Alexander Pope
1795 ca.: John Taylor Esq.
1799: Samuel Jackson Pratt
1799: Dr. John Wolcot
1800: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1800: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
SPIRIT OF LIGHT! Whose eye unfolds
The vast expanse of NATURE'S plan!
And from thy Eastern throne beholds,
The paths of the lorn trav'ller Man!
To thee I sing! Spirit of Light! to thee
Attune the varying strain of wood-wild harmony.
I sing to thee! on Skiddaw's heights upborne—
Painting with Heav'n's own tint the brows of morn!
I sing to thee! while down the breezy sweep!
While far and wide the roseate ray
Flushes the dewy breast of day:—
Hope fost'ring Day! which Nature bade impart
A Parent's transport, to a Parent's heart!
DAY! that first saw the smiling BABY prest
Close to its beauteous Mother's throbbing breast:
While his clear, laughing eyes foretold
The mind susceptible — the spirit bold;—
The soul enlighten'd — virtues, prone to grace
With PITY'S holy tear MAN'S woe-bewilder'd race!
Ye Mountains! from whose crests sublime,
Imagination might to frenzy turn;
Or to the starry realms impatient climb,
Scorning this low world's solitary bourne.
Ye CAT'RACTS! on whose headlong tide
The midnight whirlwinds howling ride;—
Ye silent LAKES! that trembling hail
The cold breath of morning gale;
And on your lucid mirrors wide display,
In colours bright, in dewy lustre gay,
Fantastic woodlands, while the dappled dawn
Scatters its pearl-drops on the sunny lawn;
And thou, meek ORB, that lift'st thy silver bow
O'er frozen vallies, and o'er hills of slow;—
Ye all shall lend your wonder, — all combine
To greet the Babe, with energies divine!
While his rapt soul, SPIRIT OF LIGHT! to THEE
Shall raise the magic song of wood-wild harmony!
Yet, who can tell, in this dread scene,
What sorrows thou art born to know?
Whether thy days content, serene—
Shall in one even tenour flow;
Or, plung'd in passion's whelming wave—
Despair shall mark an early grave;—
Or false ambition's scorpion brood
Lure thee to tread the fields of blood?
Who knows but fortune's frown may chase
From thy warm heart affection's grace—
And sordid Nature bid thee flee—
From the soft voice of wood-wild harmony!
Ye Rocks! coeval with the birth of TIME,—
Bold summits, link'd in chains of rosy light!
Ere long your whisp'ring breezes shall invite
Your NATIVE SON the loftiest paths to climb,—
Where, in majestic pride of solitude,
Silent and grand, the Hermit THOUGHT shall trace
Far o'er the wide infinity of space,
The mid-day horrors of the black'ning wood;
The misty glen, the torrent's foamy way,
The parting blush of summer's ling'ring day;
The wintry storm, with rushing clouds combin'd,
To seize the broad wings of th' unfetter'd wind;
Then, INFANT BOY! thy unchain'd tongue
Shall sing the song thy father sung,
And he shall listen, rapture fraught, to THEE,
And bless the dulcet tone of wood-wild harmony!
Then, hand in hand, together ye shall tread,
In converse sweet, the mountain's head,
Or on the river's will'wy bank,
Gather the wild-flow'rs budding near,
And often, with a pitying tear,
Bathe their soft leaves, so sweet, so dank,
Leaves, doom'd to fade,
In solitude's oblivious shade!
Emblems of GENIUS, taught to fear,
—O! fate severe!—
E'en in the shades of life, the thorn
Of cold neglect — or smiling scorn;
Save when a kindred soul in thee—
Pours the soft plaint of wood-wild harmony!
Then through thy breast thy parent shall diffuse
The mightier magic of his loftier muse!
Then shall each sense, legitimate, expand,
The proud lyre throb beneath thy glowing hand!
While WISDOM, chast'ning pleasure's smile,
Shall listen, and applaud the while;
And REASON (pointing to the sky,
Bright as the morning star, her "broad, bright eye!")
Shall ope the page of NATURE'S book sublime—
The lore of ev'ry age, the boast of ev'ry clime!
SWEET BOY! accept a STRANGER'S song,
Who joys to sing of thee,
Alone, her forest haunts among,
The haunts of wood-wild harmony!
A stranger's song, by falsehood undefil'd,
Hymns thee, O! INSPIRATION'S darling child!
In thee it hails the GENIUS of thy SIRE,
Her sad heart sighing o'er her feeble lyre,
And, whether on the breezy height,
Where Skiddaw greets the dawn of light,
Ere the rude sons of labour homage pay
To summer's flaming eye, or winter's banner grey;
Whether, by bland religion early taught,
To track the devious pilgrimage of thought;
Or, borne on FANCY'S variegated wing,
A willing vot'ry to that shrine,
Where ART and SCIENCE all their flow'rs shall bring,
Thy temples to entwine:
Whether LODORE for thee its white wave flings,
Whether smooth BASENTHWAITE, at eve's still hour,
Reflects the young moon's crescent meekly pale,
Or MEDITATION seeks her silent bow'r
Amid the rocks of lonely BORRO-DALE:
Still may THY FAME survive, SWEET BOY, till time
Shall bend to KESWICK'S vale thy SKIDDAW'S brow sublime.
October 12, 1800.