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lines, and this without any consciousness of effort. On awaking, he remembered the whole, and, taking his pen, began instantly and eagerly to commit it to paper. He had written as far as the published fragment, when he was interrupted by some person on urgent business, which detained him about an hour. On resuming his pen, he was mortified to find that, with the exception of a few lines, all had vanished from his memory.
Coleridge's sweet and simple lines, written in early life, To Genevieve, evince a beautiful delicacy of sentiment :
Maid of my love, sweet Genevieve !
And sweet your voice as seraph's song.
This heart with passion soft to glow;
It bids you hear the tale of woe.
Beholds no hand outstretched to save;
That rises graceful o'er the wave,
I've seen your breast with pity heave,
And therefore love I you, sweet Genevieve!
Coleridge had extraordinary power of summoning up images in his own mind; a remarkable instance of this is, his poem purporting to be "composed in the Vale of Chamouni," since he never was at Chamouni, or near it, in his life, as we learn from Wordsworth. The origin of the Ancient Mariner, as related by Words"It arose," he worth, is somewhat humorous. (c says, out of the want of five pounds which Coleridge and I needed to make a tour together in Devonshire. We agreed to write, jointly, a poem, the subject of which Coleridge took from a dream which a friend of his
had once dreamt concerning a person suffering under a dire curse from the commission of some crime. I supplied the crime, the shooting of the Albatross, from an incident I had met with in one of Shelvocke's voyages. We tried the poem conjointly for a day or two, but we pulled different ways, and only a few lines of it are mine." This fascinating poem is familiar to us all.
Coleridge's exquisite stanzas, entitled Love, were originally preceded by the following beautiful lines:
O leave the lily on its stem; O leave the rose upon the spray;
And now a tale of love and woe, a woful tale of love I sing;
O come, and hear the cruel wrongs befell the Dark Ladie.
Then follow the well-known stanzas, which were intended to form part of a projected poem, entitled The Dark Ladie :—
All thoughts, all passions, all delights, whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love, and feed his sacred flame.
Oft in my waking dreams do I live o'er again that happy hour,
And she was there, my hope, my joy,—my own dear Genevieve!
She leaned against the armèd man, the statue of the armèd knight; She stood and listened to my lay, amid the lingering light.
Few sorrows hath she of her own, my hope, my joy, my Genevieve! She loves me best whene'er I sing the songs that make her grieve.
I played a soft and doleful air, I sang an old and moving story,-
For well she knew, I could not choose but gaze upon her face.
Here is introduced the story of the knight; after which the poet continues::
But when I reached that tenderest strain of all the ditty, My faltering voice and pausing harp disturbed her soul with pity. She wept with pity and delight—she blushed with love and virgin
And, like the murmur of a dream, I heard her breathe my name.
Her bosom heaved, she stepped aside; as conscious of my look, she stepped;
Then suddenly, with timorous eye, she fled to me and wept.
She half enclosed me with her arms-she pressed me with a meek embrace;
And bending back her head, looked up, and gazed upon my face.
'Twas partly love and partly fear, and partly 'twas a bashful art, That I might rather feel than see the swelling of her heart.
I calmed her fears, and she was calm, and told her love with virgin
And so I won my Genevieve, my bright and beauteous bride!
The following playful lines were recently found on the back of one of the manuscripts of Coleridge :
Love's Burial-place: a Madrigal.
Lady. If Love be dead-(and you aver it!)
To call thy bosom poor Love's tomb.
"Here lies a Love that once seemed mine,
But took a chill, as I divine,
And died at length of a decline!"
Coleridge thus condenses Courtship into a couple of stanzas :—
We pledged our hearts, my love and I,
But, oh! I trembled like an aspen.
I strove to act the man-in vain!
We had exchanged our hearts indeed.
EDGAR A. POE, whose minstrelsy sounds like the "echoes of strange, unearthly music," is best known by that remarkable production, The Raven, which, like The Ancient Mariner, holds the reader spell-bound by its mystic fascination. His song of Annabel Lee is a general favourite :
It was many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden lived, whom you may know by the name of Annabel Lee:
And this maiden she lived with no other thought than to love, and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child, in this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love, I and my Annabel Lee,
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago, in this kingdom by the sea,
But our love it was stronger by far than the love of those who were
older than we,
many far wiser than we;