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Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve,

And hope without an object cannot live. To about the same date belongs the following, entitled Youth and Age :

Verse, a breeze ʼmid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee -
Both were mine! Life went a maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,

When I was young!
When I was young ? — Ah, woeful when !
Ah! for the change 'twixt now and then!
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O'er airy cliffs and glittering sands
How lightly then it flashed along :
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Nought cared this body for wind or weather
When youth and I lived in't together.

Flowers are lovely; love is flower-like;
Friendship is a sheltering tree ;
O! the joys that came down shower-like,
Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,

Ere I was old !
Ere I was old ? — Ah, woeful ere,
Which tells me, Youth 's no longer here !
O Youth! for years so many and sweet
'Tis known that thou and I were one;
I'll think it but a fond conceit
It cannot be, that thou art gone !
Thy vesper-bell hath not yet tolled :-
And thou wert aye a masker bold !
What strange disguise hast now put on,
To make believe that thou art gone ?
I see these locks in silvery slips,
This drooping gait, this altered size :
But springtide blossoms on thy lips,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes!
Life is but thought: so think I will
That Youth and I are house-mates still,

Dew-drops are the gems of morning,
But the tears of mournful eve!
Where no hope is, life 's a warning
That only serves to make us grieve,

When we are old :
That only serves to make us grieve,
With oft and tedious taking leave;
Like some poor nigh-related guest,
That may not rudely be dismist,
Yet hath outstayed his welcome while,

And tells the jest without the smile. The following was written, we believe, a year or two later. It winds up a prose dialogue between two girls and their elderly male friend the Poet, or Improvisatore, as he is more familiarly styled, who, after a most eloquent description of that rare mutual love, the possession of which he declares would be more than an adequate reward for the rarest virtue, to the remark, “Surely, he who has described it so well must have possessed it ?” replies, “ If he were worthy to have possessed it, and had believingly anticipated and not found it, how bitter the disappointment!” and then, after a pause, breaks out into verse thus :

Yes, yes! that boon, life's richest treat,
He had, or fancied that he had ;
Say, 'twas but in his own conceit

The fancy made him glad !
Crown of his cup, and garnish of his dish,
The boon prefigured in his earliest wish,
The fair fulfilment of his poesy,
When his young heart first yearned for sympathy!

But e'en the meteor offspring of the brain

Unnourished wane ;
Faith asks her daily bread,
And fancy must be fed.
Now so it chanced — from wet or dry,
It boots not how - I know not why
She missed her wonted food; and quickly
Poor fancy staggered and grew sickly.
Then came a restless state, 'twixt yea and nay,
His faith was fixed, his heart all ebb and flow;
Or like a bark, in some half-sheltered bay,
Above its anchor driving to and fro.

That boon, which but to have possest
In a belief gave life a zest --
Uncertain both what it had been,
And if by error lost, or luck;
And what it was ; — an evergreen
Which some insidious blight had struck,
Or annual flower, which, past its blow,
No vernal spell shall e'er revive!
Uncertain, and afraid to know,

Doubts tossed him to and fro:
Hope keeping Love, Love Hope, alive,
Like babes bewildered in the snow,
That cling and huddle from the cold
In hollow tree or ruined fold.

Those sparkling colours, once his boast,

Fading, one by one away, Thin and hueless as a ghost,

Poor fancy on her sick-bed lay; Ill at a distance, worse when near, Telling her dreams to jealous fear! Where was it then, the sociable sprite That crowned the poet's cup and decked his dish! Ā Poor shadow cast from an unsteady Itself a substance by no other right But that it intercepted reason's light; It dimmed his eye, it darkened on his brow: A peevish mood, a tedious time, I trow!

Thank heaven! 'tis not so now.

O bliss of blissful hours !
The boon of heaven's decreeing,
While yet in Eden's bowers
Dwelt the first husband and his sinless mate!
The one sweet plant, which, piteous heaven agreeing,
They bore with them through Eden's closiny gate!
Of life's gay summer tide the sovran rose !
Late autumn's amaranth, that more fragrant blows
When passion’s flowers all fall or fade;
If this were ever his in outward being,
Or but his own true love's projected shade,
Now that at length by certain proof he knows
That, whether real or a magic show,

Whate'er it was, it is no longer so;
Though heart be lonesome, hope laid low,
Yet, lady, deem him not unblest;
The certainty that struck hope dead
Hath left contentment in her stead:

And that is next to best!

And still more perfect and altogether exquisite, we think, than anything we have yet given, is the following, entitled Love, Hope, and Patience, in Education :

O'er wayward childhood would'st thou hold firm rule,
And sun thee in the light of happy faces ;
Love, Hope, and Patience, these must be thy graces,
And in thine own heart let them first keep school.
For, as old Atlas on his broad neck places
Heaven's starry globe, and there sustains it,
Do these upbear the little world below
Of Education, Patience, Love, and Hope.
Methinks, I see them grouped in seemly show,
The straitened arms upraised, the palms aslope,
And robes that touching, as adown they flow,
Distinctly blend, like snow embossed in snow.

O part them never! If Hope prostrate lie,

Love too will sink and die.
But Love is subtle, and doth proof derive
From her own life that Hope is yet alive;
And, bending o'er with soul-transfusing eyes,
And the soft murmurs of the mother dove,
Woos back the fleeting spirit, and half supplies :
Thus Love repays to Hope what Hope first gave to Love.

Yet haply there will come a weary day,

When overtasked at length
Both Love and Hope beneath the load give way.
Then, with a statue's smile, a statue's strength,
Stands the mute sister, Patience, nothing loth,
And both supporting does the work of both.


COLERIDGE died in 1834 ; his friend Southey, born three years later, survived to 1843. If Coleridge wrote too little poetry, Southey may be said to have written too much and too rapidly. Southey, as well as Coleridge, has been popularly reckoned one of the Lake poets; but it is difficult to assign any meaning to that name which should entitle it to comprehend either the one or the other. Southey, indeed, was, in the commencement of his career, the associate of Wordsworth and Coleridge ; a portion of his first poem, his Joan of Arc, published in 1796, was written by Coleridge ; and he afterwards took up his residence, as well as Wordsworth, among the lakes of Westmoreland. But, although in his first volume of minor poems, published in 1797, there was something of the same simplicity or plainness of style, and choice of subjects from humble life, by which Wordsworth sought to distinguish himself about the same time, the manner of the one writer bore only a very superficial resemblance to that of the other; whatever it was, whether something quite original, or only, in the main, an inspiration caught from the Germans, that gave its peculiar character to Wordsworth's poetry, it was wanting in Southey's; he was evidently, with all his ingenuity and fertility, and notwithstanding an ambition of originality which led him to be continually seeking after strange models, from Arabian and Hindoo mythologies to Latin hexameters, of a genius radically imitative, and not qualified to put forth its strength except while moving in a beaten track and under the guidance of long-established rules. Southey was by nature a conservative in literature as well as in politics, and the eccentricity of his Thalabas and Kehamas was as merely spasmodic as the Jacobinism of his Wat Tyler. But even Thalaba and Kehama, whatever they may be, are surely not poems of the Lake school. And in most of his other poems, especially in his latest epic, Roderick, the Last of the Goths, Southey is in verse what he always was in prose, one of the most thoroughly and unaffectedly English of our modern writers. The verse, however, is too like prose to be poetry of a very high order ; it is flowing and eloquent, but has little of the distinctive life or lustre of poetical composition. There is much splendor and beauty, however, in the Curse of Kehama, the most elaborate of his long poems.

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