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Reflections On Having Left A Place Of Retirement Analysis

Author: Poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge Type: Poetry Views: 466

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Sermoni propriora.--HORACE

Low was our pretty Cot : our tallest Rose

Peep'd at the chamber-window. We could hear

At silent noon, and eve, and early morn,

The Sea's faint murmur. In the open air

Our Myrtles blossom'd; and across the porch

Thick Jasmins twined : the little landscape round

Was green and woody, and refresh'd the eye.

It was a spot which you might aptly call

The Valley of Seclusion ! Once I saw

(Hallowing his Sabbath-day by quiteness)

A wealthy son of Commerce saunter by,

Bristowa's citizen : methought, it calm'd

His thirst of idle gold, and made him muse

With wiser feelings : for he paus'd, and look'd

With a pleas'd sadness, and gaz'd all around,

Then eyed our Cottage, and gaz'd round again,

And sigh'd, and said, it was a Blesséd Place.

And we were bless'd. Oft with patient ear

Long-listening to the viewless sky-lark's note

(Viewless, or haply for a moment seen

Gleaming on sunny wings) in whisper'd tones

I said to my Belovéd, `Such, sweet Girl !

The inobtrusive song of Happiness,

Unearthly minstrelsy ! then only heard

When the Soul seeks to hear ; when all is hush'd,

And the Heart listens !'

[Image][Image][Image]But the time, when first

From that low Dell, steep up the stony Mount

I climb'd with perilous toil and reach'd the top,

Oh ! what a goodly scene ! Here the bleak mount,

The bare bleak mountain speckled thin with sheep ;

Grey clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields ;

And river, now with bushy rocks o'er-brow'd,

Now winding bright and full, with naked banks ;

And seats, and lawns, the Abbey and the wood,

And cots, and hamlets, and faint city-spire ;

The Channel there, the Islands and white sails,

Dim coasts, and cloud-like hills, and shoreless Ocean--

It seem'd like Omnipresence ! God, methought,

Had build him there a Temple : the whole World

Seem'd imag'd in its vast circumference :

No wish profan'd my overwhelméd heart.

Blest hour ! It was a luxury,--to be !

Ah ! quiet Dell ! dear Cot, and Mount sublime !

I was constrain'd to quit you. Was it right,

While my unnumber'd brethren toil'd and bled,

That I should dream away the entrusted hours

On rose-leaf beds, pampering the coward heart

With feelings all too delicate for use ?

Sweet is the tear that from some Howard's eye

Drops on the cheek of one he lifts from earth :

And he that works me good with unmov'd face,

Does it but half : he chills me while he aids,

My benefactor, not my brother man !

Yet even this, this cold beneficience

Praise, praise it, O my Soul ! oft as thou scann'st

The sluggard Pity's vision-weaving tribe !

Who sigh for Wretchedness, yet shun the Wretched,

Nursing in some delicious solitude

Their slothful loves and dainty sympathies !

I therefore go, and join head, heart, and hand,

Active and firm, to fight the bloodless fight

Of Science, Freedom, and the Truth in Christ.

Yet oft when after honourable toil

Rests the tir'd mind, and waking loves to dream,

My spirit shall revisit thee, dear Cot !

Thy Jasmin and thy window-peeping Rose,

And Myrtles fearless of the mild sea-air.

And I shall sigh fond wishes--sweet Abode !

Ah !--had none greater ! And that all had such !

It might be so--but the time is not yet.

Speed it, O Father ! Let thy Kingdom come !


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