1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Francis Hodgson, "The Resurrection-Tragedy, by S. T. C." Leaves of Laurel; or New Probationary Odes, for the Vacant Laureatship (1813) 15-16.



A poisonous tree's the laurel; yet can bear
Fruit much more fam'd than apple or than pear:
Therefore, perhaps, it was esteem'd by P—e—
And yet, on second thoughts, I know not why.
Though laurel leaves the conqueror's brow adorn,
Though laurel leaves by conquering bards are worn,
With laurel leaves did Donellan destroy
Sir Theodosius Boughton, yet a boy.
In human things how closely does alloy
Mingle with purest gold! this proverb's force
Is shown, too clearly, by my own remorse;
Remorse I daily feel, for having rais'd
The fame of actors, whom I weekly prais'd.
And yet, reviving from its deathlike rest,
R—m—e, so long by Sh—r—d—n supprest,
Shall hail me father, spite of fool's jest;
Spite of stage-faults, in closet read, shall bear
Fruit sweeter far than apple or than pear,
Mellow renown! — but still, perforce, I dread
These poisonous bays; still wish them on my head.
How vain the prize? the drawback how avoid?
What thing on earth is perfectly enjoy'd?
Yon centipede, indeed—