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MONODY ON THE DEATH OF
(ORIGINAL VERSION.)* [This poem has since appeared in print, much altered,
whether for the better I doubt. This was, I believe, written before the Author went to College. (Note
by J. T. C.)] NOW prompts the Muse poetic lays,
And high my bosom beats with love of praise, But, Chatterton ! methinks I hear thy name, For cold my fancy grows, and dead each hope of
Fame. When Want and cold Neglect had chill'd thy soul, Athirst for Death I see thee drain the bowl,
Thy corse of many a livid hue
On the bare ground I view, * This original draught of Coleridge's Monody on Chatterton appears to have been produced at Christ's Hospital as a school exercise, together with the two following Poems. It is derived from a note-book in the handwriting of the late Sir John Taylor Coleridge, the nephew of the poet, kept at Eton College in 1807, which has been kindly placed at the publisher's disposal by his son, the present Lord Coleridge, of Ottery St. Mary.
While various passions all my mind engage :
And now a flash of rage
Elate of Heart, and confident of fame
Gay as the Poet hastes along
He meditates the future song,
And while Fancy in the air
Paints him many a vision fair, His
eyes dance rapture, and his bosom glows ! With generous joy he views the rising gold,
He listens* to many a widow's prayers,
* Sic in MS. Qy. "lists,”—ED.
And now he punishes the heart of steel
For busy Fancy ever nigh
There, death of every dear delight,
Frowns Poverty of giant mien !
Faint index of thy mental throes,
Such was the sad and gloomy hour
When anguish'd Care of sullen brow
Thy native cot she held to view,
Had listen'd to thy evening song.
And all her silent agony of woe.
“ And from thy fate shall such distress ensue ?
O Spirit blest!
* It seems that the Author considered the sentiment in these last three lines “so improper," that he soon altered them to those that now stand in the text. (See vol. i. pp. 60-61.) The first foot-note on p. 61 should be deleted.
TO THE EVENING STAR.*
O MEEK attendant of Sol's setting blaze,
I hail, sweet star, thy chaste effulgent glow; On thee full oft with fixed eye I gaze
Till I, methinks, all spirit seem to grow. O first and fairest of the starry choir,
O loveliest 'mid the daughters of the night,
Pure joy and calm Delight?
Serenely brilliant? Whilst to gaze a while
E'en till she quit this scene of earthly toil; Then Hope perchance might fondly sigh to join Her spirit in thy kindred orb, O star benign!
ANNA AND HARLAND.+
WITHIN these wilds was Anna wont to rove
While Harland told his love in many a sigh, But stern on Harland rolled her brother's eye, They fought, they fell-her brother and her love!
* Now first printed from the late Sir J. T. Coleridge's MS. book.
+ Now first printed from the late Sir J. T. Coleridge's MS. note-book.