1801 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Alexander Thomson, in The British Parnassus, at the Close of the Eighteenth Century (1801) 36-27 & n.



There is COLERIDGE, whose flights no restriction can fetter,
Who has peopled the whole of his Old Navigator,*
With extravagant shapes, both of Horror and Fear,
But for what end collected, is not quite so clear:
His too are perhaps those eccentric designs,
Where whimsical Fancy with Ridicule joins;
Like the comfortless state of bewitch'd HARRY GILL,
When with ten waistcoats cover'd, his teeth chatter'd still.**

* The Ancient Marynere, is the first article among the Lyrical Ballads, and report has in general given it to Coleridge. Its merit, in the fanciful style, is great, but there is no piece of Poetry which I at present recollect, to which the question of Cui Bono applies with so much propriety and force.

** This is the sixth Article in the Lyrical Ballads, and of the same style is the sixteenth, called the Idiot Boy; whether either of them belong to Coleridge, is hitherto a question that had not been decided.