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Within the Baron's heart and brain
TO PART II.
A LITTLE child, a limber elf,
* To th' insulted daughter-1816.
Makes such a vision to the sight
INTRODUCTION TO THE TALE OF THE
[To the Editor of the Morning Post. Sir,
The following Poem is the Introduction to a somewhat longer one, for which I shall solicit insertion on your next open day. The use of the old Ballad word Ladie, for Lady, is the only piece of obsoleteness in it; and as it is professedly a tale of ancient times, I trust that “the affectionate lovers of venerable antiquity” (as Camden says) will grant me their pardon, and perhaps may be induced to admit a force and propriety in it. A heavier objection may be adduced against the Author, that in these times of fear and expectation, when novelties explode around us in all directions, he should presume to offer to the public a silly tale of old-fashioned love; and five years ago, I own, I should have allowed and felt the force of this objection. But, alas ! explosion has succeeded explosion so rapidly that novelty itself ceases to appear new; and it is possible that now, even a simple story wholly unspiced with politics or personality, may find some attention amid the hubbub of Revolutions, as to those who have remained a long time by the falls of Niagara, the lowest whispering becomes distinctly audible.
S. T. COLERIDGE.]
* Morning Post, December 21, 1799.-The substance of this poem (with the omission of the four opening and three concluding stanzas) appeared in the second edition of Lyrical Ballads (1800), under the title of Love.-ED.
O LEAVE the lily on its stem ;
O leave the rose upon the spray ; O leave the elder-bloom, fair maids !
And listen to my lay.
A cypress and a myrtle bough
Its murmurs in the wind.
And now a tale of love and woe,
And trembles on the string.
But most, my own dear Genevieve,
Befell the Dark Ladie !
Few sorrows hath she of her own,
The songs that make her grieve.
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
And feed his sacred flame.
Oft in my waking dreams do I
Beside the ruin'd tower.
The moonshine stealing o'er the scene Had blended with the lights of eve; And she was there, my hope, my joy,
My own dear Genevieve !
She lean'd against the armed man,
Amid the lingering light.
I play'd a soft and doleful air,
That ruin wild and hoary.
She listen'd with a flitting blush,
gaze upon her face.
* O ever in my waking dreams
I dwell upon that happy hour When midway on the Mount I sate—1799. + To my harp—ib. # A sad and doleful air-ib. § That fitted well-ib.