1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

William Maginn, "Introduction to Christabel Part the Third" Blackwood's Magazine 5 (June 1819) 286-87.



Listen! ye know that I am mad,
And ye will listen! — wizard dreams
Were with me! — all is true that seems!—
From dreams alone can truth be had—
In dreams divinest lore is taught,
For the eye, no more distraught,
Rests most calmly, and the ear,
Of sound unconscious, may apply
Its attributes unknown, to hear
The music of philosophy!
Thus am I wisest in my sleep,
For thoughts and things, which day light brings,
Come to the spirit sad and single,
But verse and prose, and joys and woes
Inextricably mingle,
When the hushed frame is silent in repose!
Twilight and moonlight, mist and storm,
Black night, and fire-eyed hurricane,
And crested lightning, and, the snows
That mock the sunbeams, and the rain
Which bounds on earth with big drops warm,
All are round me while I spell
The legend of sweet Christabel!