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torate; and his increasing devotion to teen feet. ‘Suppose,' said I, 'you represent philosophy was religious in spirit. While him as having killed one of these birds or Wordsworth at Goslar was brooding over entering the South Sea, and that the tutelhis past and pluming his wings for “The ary spirits of these regions take upon them Prelude," Coleridge, having matriculated to avenge the crime."
The incident was at the University of Göttingen, was de thought fit for the purpose and adopted vouring German literature and German accordingly.” Later, Coleridge was apparphilosophy; and after his return to Eng- ently doubtful of the advisability of this land he dedicated himself, in his whole-heightening of the moral significance of the hearted but ineffectual way, to the task of narration. “Mrs. Barbauld once told me," solving at the same time the final prob he said, "that she admired 'The Ancient lems of both philosophy and religion. He Mariner' very much, but that there were gave not a little promise, in his public lec two faults in it, — it was improbable, and tures and in his prose writings, of becom had no moral. As for the probability, I ing one of the great leaders of modern owned that that might admit some questhought; but his temperamental weak tion: but as to the want of a moral, I told nesses, and the manifold ills that are her that in my own judgment the poem had mainly traceable to them, virtually frus too much; and that the only, or chief fault, trated his powers. Within four years the if I might say so, was the obtrusion of the joyous enthusiasm of the Lyrical Ballads moral sentiment so openly on the reader days had lapsed to the mood of “Dejec as a principle or cause of action in a work tion: An Ode” (page 78). Although there of pure imagination. It ought to have had are wonderful passages of eloquence and no more moral than the Arabian Nights' insight in his subsequent prose works, in tale of the merchant's sitting down to eat the main his “afflictions” bowed him dates by the side of a well and throwing "down to earth,” and his later prose and
the shells aside, and lo! a genie starts up poetry alike are but a shadow of what lay and says he must kill the aforesaid merunrealized in him.
chant because one of the date shells had, it seems, put out the eye of the genie's
son." THE ANCIENT MARINER
Quotations in the notes, below, are from
the marginal glosses added by Coleridge in For Coleridge's artistic purpose in writ 1815-1816. ing the poem, see the fourth paragraph of (57.) 101-102. 'Twas right etc.: They the biography (page 667 above). In form, "thus make themselves accomplices in the it is imitative of the old ballads; many of crime.” the archaisms of the 1798 version, how
106. that silent sea: "The ship enever, — such as "yspread," "withouten," ters the Pacific Ocean, and sails north"Ancyent Marinere," were subsequently ward, even till it reaches the Line" (i.e. removed.
the Equator). "Much the greatest part of the story (58.) 141-142. Instead of the cross etc.: was Mr. Coleridge's invention; but cer “The shipmates, in their sore distress, tain parts,” says Wordsworth, "I myself would fain throw the whole guilt on the suggested :— for example, some crime was Mariner.” to be committed which should bring upon (59.) 197. I've won: "Death and Life-inthe Old Navigator, as Coleridge after Death have diced for the ship's crew, and wards delighted to call him, the spectral she (the latter) winneth the Mariner." persecution, a consequence of that
226-227. And thou sea-sand: crime and his own wanderings. I had been These two lines were contributed by reading in Shelvocke's Voyages, a day or Wordsworth. two before, that, while doubling Cape (60.) 263-266. The moving Moon etc.: Horn, they frequently saw albatrosses in "In his loneliness and fixedness, he yearnthat latitude, the largest sort of sea-fowl, eth towards the journeying Moon, and the some extending their wings twelve or thir stars that still sojourn, yet still move on
CONCLUSION TO PART II
ward; and every where the blue sky belongs to them, and is their appointed rest, and their native country, and their own
(69.) 408-426. Alas! they had been natural homes.”
friends: This famous digression on broken (61.) 379. The spirit: "The lonesome
friendship is a fine expression of a proSpirit from the south-pole carries on the
found emotion. Two of Coleridge's deepship as far as the Line, in obedience to the
est attachments were broken — that with angelic troop, but still requireth ven
Poole and that with Wordsworth, though geance."
both were restored. 397. Two voices in the air: “The Polar Spirit's fellow-daemons, the invisible inhabitants of the element (the air), take
Here, perhaps Coleridge projected a part in his wrong; and two of them relate,
retrospective passage (like the Conclusion one to the other, that penance long and
to Part I) touching first upon the Baron's heavy for the ancient Mariner hath been
light rebukes to Christabel in her childaccorded to the Polar Spirit, who return hood, and then leading back to his present eth southward."
anger at her. (62.) 422-423. But why drives on etc.:
James Gillman, friend and biographer of “The Mariner hath been cast into
the poet, records that Coleridge intended trance; for the angelic power causeth the
to carry the story through a third and vessel to drive northward faster than hu
fourth part as follows: — Old Bracy the man life could endure.”
bard finds only the ruins of Lord Roland's (63.) 535. ivy-tod: ivy-bush.
castle, and hastens to return with the news (64.) 614-617. He prayeth best, etc.: This that Geraldine's story must be false. She, is the sequel to lines 236-247, 282-288. in the meantime, has been artfully fomentFor Wordsworth's early doctrine of sym ing Sir Leoline's suspicion and anger pathy, see note on "Simon Lee” (page 657,
against his daughter. But being aware, above).
like the witches in “Macbeth,” of all that CHRISTABEL
is happening, Geraldine changes her ap
pearance, on Bracy's return, to that of Here the magical atmosphere at which
Christabel's absent lover (see lines 27-30, Coleridge aimed is conveyed quite as suc
292-297). The girl feels, without knowing cessfully as in “The Ancient Mariner,” why, a great disgust for the courtship of and far more delicately.
her once favored knight. But, urged by her father, she at length consents to marriage. As the couple approach the altar,
however, the real lover enters, and pro22. And the Spring
duces a ring that Christabel had once This would apply to northern England, the
given him. Thereupon the supernatural scene of Part II, although Part I is not
being “Geraldine” disappears. The castle definitely localized.
bell tolls (see lines 198-201), the mother's (66.) 129-132. The lady sank of
voice in heard, the rightful marriage takes the gate: Evil spirits were supposed un
place, and the story closes upon the conable to cross, in their own power, a Chris
cord of father and daughter. tian threshold.
142. I cannot speak: Observe that Geraldine will not include herself in the
KUBLA KHAN "we" of line 139, i.e., will not join in thanks to the Virgin Mary.
Coleridge tells us that this poem came 153. For what can ail: Animals to him in a dream induced by an "anowere regarded as feeling the presence of dyne," – opium. He had just been readspirits.
ing, in an old book of travels, a prose de159. A tongue of light: The very scription of the “sumptuous house of pleasfire responds to the presence of the witch. ure” (as it was called in the book) and its
surroundings. The main features of this erty are all too likely to be slaves at heart, description Coleridge borrows, investing at bottom enemies to their own cause, he them, however, with his magical imagery turns sadly, yet joyously, to nature, where and incomparable music. The earthly the spirit of liberty is pure and unsullied. paradise pictured in the poem may be re (76.) 95-96. Alike from Priestcraft's etc.: garded as an expression of the immemorial the mean-souled tyranny of the church and tendency of the human heart to seek a the equally mean-souled tyranny of the sect refuge from the ills of life by creating a of atheists. In 1793 the "Goddess of Reaworld closer to the heart's desire.
son” was enthroned in Notre Dame. Kubla Khan was the founder, in the thirteenth century, of the Mongol dynasty of China. Xanadu, or “Zaindu" (as the
FROST AT MIDNIGHT old book gave it), is a region in Tartary. Mount Abora, in line 41, has not been
at his cottage in Nether identified with certainty, and may have Stowey, Coleridge meditates on "extreme been invented by Coleridge.
silentness;" and looks back to his boyhood years in "the great city” (London), and
forward to his son Hartley's wanderings FRANCE: AN ODE
"like a breeze” by lakes and mountains.
(77.) 26. “that fluttering stranger: soot Compare with Wordsworth's poems adhering to the bars of the grate and prebearing on political ideas, especially the saging, according to superstition, the appassage from “The Prelude” (pages 12
proach of a visitor. 17). Wordsworth clung to his faith in the French Revolution longer than Coleridge, whose more pliant nature responded
DEJECTION: AN ODE early to the conservative reaction. The present poem he originally entitled “The (78.) 40. what can these: i.e., the clouds, Recantation." He abandons his earlier stars, etc., of the preceding stanza. The hope of witnessing the reign of liberty beauties of nature cannot alleviate his dein human society, without, however, relin- | pression. quishing his faith in “The spirit of divinest (79.) 67-69. Joy, Lady Liberty” (line 21) present in nature. Heaven: This sentence resumes the There it may still be joyously felt by the image of the "wedding-garment” in line 49, pure in heart when they approach "all and sums up the thought of the interventhings with intensest love" (line 104). ing lines: only the highest kind of human
First the poet calls upon free nature to joy can so marry Nature to our spirits as bear witness that he has ever worshipped to invest her with the highest beauty and the spirit of Liberty. In the second stanza, meaning. — Throughout these two stanzas he expresses his early enthusiasm for the Coleridge has in mind the poetry and docRevolution, an enthusiasm that continued trines of Wordsworth, to whom this ode after the Allies, including his own country, was originally addressed. But he makes waged war upon the French Revolutionists. more explicit than Wordsworth this double In the third stanza, he indicates that his condition: the dependence of nature upon hope for the regeneration of the world by man's joy and, at the same time, of man's France survived even the wild excesses of joy upon his purity of character. Comthe movement - behind the storms “The pare, for instance, "Tintern Abbey" (page Sun was rising.” In the fourth, he laments 6), “Most Sweet It Is” (page 54), and that France, the “Champion of human "Not in the Lucid Intervals" (page 54). kind,” should have fallen so low as to in
100. mountain-tairn: "tairn" is Scotvade free Switzerland and thus show her tish for "tarn." self no better than kings pursuing "the (80.) 120. as Otway's self: as if Otway low lust of sway.” And in the concluding himself, viz., Thomas Otway, the sevenstanza, perceiving that champions of lib teenth-century dramatist.
LAMB — SOUTHEY — CAMPBELL
THE GARDEN OF BOCCACCIO of rhythmic and emotional tones. Com
parable with it, in respect of winning genColeridge's kind of imaginative memory,
tleness, is Coleridge's poem to Lamb, “This so to phrase it, can fruitfully be compared
Lime-Tree Bower My Prison," written with Wordsworth's, as in the "Ode on In
in the preceding year. But peculiar to timations of Immortality” (page 40).
Charles Lamb (1775-1834) is his simple (82.) 5. the numbing spell: For the mood
nostalgia of affection. It appears with of lines 1-10, cf. “Dejection,” stanza il
humor, though still with pathos, in his (page 78). There, the poet could find no
Essays of Elia. It swayed his comrelief in nature; here, he can find none in
ments upon Shakespeare, and the other * "the Past.”
sixteenth and seventeenth century drama14-18. this exquisite design etc.: an
tists, who were worshipped and “revived” engraving by Thomas Stothard (1755
by Coleridge, Hazlitt, and Lamb, — pro1834), entitled “The Garden of Boccac
ponents of so-called “Romantic criticism" cio,” in company with which this poem was in England. published the next year in "The Keep- (85.) 16. Friend of my bosom: Coleridge. sake.” Details of the picture are alluded to from line 57 to the end. — Boccaccio: the great Italian narrator of the four
SOUTHEY: BATTLE OF BLENteenth century.
HEIM 19. a newly-bathed steep: a high hill which has just been drenched with rain or
The humanitarian view of public fog. The sheep, quiet in the distance, are
troubles, which appears also in the greater moving slowly down, out of a cloud of poetry of his friends Coleridge and mist. — Following this image of sight, an Wordsworth, is here rendered by Robert image of sound (lines 20-22) carries on Southey (1774-1843) in a simple, satiric the quiet, gradual influence of the picture
humor which they did not possess (see, for upon the poet. This influence, strong
example, Wordsworth's "Lines in Early though soft, reaches his heart and dispels Spring,” page 5). Four years earlier, he his apathy (lines 23-26). He can
and Coleridge, under the inspiration of turn with feeling to “the Past"; see note
youth and the French Revolution, had to line 5, above.
planned a “Pantisocracy” (government by (83.) 28-56. All spirits of power etc.: No.
all) in the wilds of America, where pubtice how they are given climactically, in
lic troubles were to be no more. But presthese lines; and compare the powers that
ently Southey settled down to the life of a affected his younger life in “Youth and
voluminous writer of verse and prose, and Age" (page 81).
became Poet Laureate in 1813. His Life 38. Hertha: the Earth-goddess of
of Nelson (1813), though too early to be North German mythology.
reliable, is a classic for narrative interest. (84.) 98. roll of old Maconides: copy of
The best of his ambitious verse-romances, Homer's poems.
Homer received the regarded by him as epical,- is “The name Maeonides because he was supposed
Curse of Kehama” (1810). to have been born at Smyrna in Lydia,
- Eugene: once called Maeonia.
The Duke of Marlborough and the Aus
trian Prince Eugene led English and GerEPITAPH
man forces against the French and Bavar
ians. The battle took place near Blenheim 7. Mercy for praise, to be forgiven for fame: "for” here means “instead of.” LAMB: THE OLD FAMILIAR
CAMPBELL: YE MARINERS OF FACES
ENGLAND The pauses should be emphasized in This piece, so different in tone from reading this poem, to bring out its harmony the preceding, is here the first example of
that poetry of external action — battle and us, he was drawn "by the wonderful and romantic adventure which runs through the terrible — the common taste of chilthe work of Southey, Thomas Campbell dren, but in which I have remained a child (1777-1844), Scott, Wolfe, and Byron. even unto this day,” — learning such pasCampbell's "Hohenlinden" and "Battle of sages by heart and reciting them aloud to the Baltic,” inspired like the present poem others and to himself. While at the High by the warfare that followed the French School he read with avidity books of travel, Revolution, have the same full-sounding history, poetry, fairy tales, romances, etc. vigor. His “Lord Ullin's Daughter” is a (“Spenser,” he says, “I could have read romantic ballad. On the other hand, his forever"); and shortly after leaving school “Pleasures of Memory" (1799) continued he chanced upon a copy of Percy's Reliques the same eighteenth-century tradition as of Ancient Poetry, the famous eighteenth Rogers' “Pleasures of Memory” (see note century collection of old ballads, which he on Rogers, page 655, above).
read "with a delight which may be imag(86.) 10. And the stormy winds do blow: ined but cannot be described.” As a stuThis verse originally read, “And the dent in Edinburgh University, Scott did stormy tempests blow.” What is the effect not distinguish himself, — and ever after. of the change?
wards, he says, felt himself "pinched and 15. Where Blake and mighty Nelson hampered” by his failure to acquire a fell: When the poem was first published "solid foundation of learning.” Yet he was in “The Morning Chronicle,” March 18, by no means idle; pursuing his own course, 1801, this verse read: "Where Blake, the he read widely in balladry and romance in boast of Freedom, fell.” It was changed several languages, – a habit that he conto its present form after Nelson fell at tinued even after becoming a legal apprenTrafalgar in 1805. — Robert Blake, tice in his father's office. In 1792 he was Cromwell's great admiral, died in 1657. called to the bar. Instead of seeking a
large practice, however, he aimed at
position which would afford leisure for his SIR WALTER SCOTT (1771-1832) favorite studies; and such a position he
attained in 1799, when he was appointed Scott was born in Edinburgh, a city sheriff of Selkirk. Before that year, he famed for its picturesque beauty and its had already, in 1795, translated Bürger's memories of the past. Through his father, ballad of “Lenore," and published it along an attorney, and his mother, daughter of a with another poem translated from Bürger. professor in the University, he was de
followed his translation of y scended from Border ancestors, to whose Goethe's early drama, “Goetz von Ber
life in the stirring old days he early began lichingen.” to look back with deep interest. When but Scott's first work of considerable imeighteen months old, he was lamed for life portance, The Minstrelsy of the Scottish by a severe illness; and though eventually a Border, appeared in 1802. A work similar robust man, he remained delicate for some to Percy's Reliques, it originated in Scott's years, gaining strength gradually at his enthusiasm for the romantic background of grandfather's farm near the Tweed. “My his Border ancestry, and was carried to grandmother, in whose youth the old Bor completion by his zeal in collecting ballads der depredations were matter of recent expressing the old Border traditions. It tradition, used to tell me many a tale of was followed in 1805 by his first important Watt of Harden, Wight Willie of Aik original work, The Lay of the Last Minwood, Jamie Telfer of the fair Dodhead, strel, a verse-romance that reads like an and other heroes merry men all of the
amplified ballad. Then came Marmion persuasion and calling of Robin Hood and and The Lady of the Lake, through which Little John."
he attained an international reputation. After his return to his father's house in By means of his large financial returns Edinburgh, Scott's love of reading and of from these poems, he was now enabled to the past continued: in particular, he tells buy Abbotsford, an estate on his beloved