David Hartley Coleridge (19 September 1796 – 6 January 1849) was an English poet, biographer, essayist, and teacher. He was the eldest son of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
== Quotes ==
=== Poems (1851) ===
Vol. I Vol. IIThe soul of man is larger than the sky, Deeper than ocean, or the abysmal dark Of the unfathomed center. Like that ark, Which in its sacred hold uplifted high, O'er the drowned hills, the human family, And stock reserved of every living kind, So, in the compass of the single mind, The seeds and pregnant forms in essence lie, That make all worlds. Great poet, 'twas thy art To know thyself, and in thyself to be Whate'er Love, Hate, Ambition, Destiny, Or the firm, fatal purpose of the Heart Can make of Man. Yet thou wert still the same, Serene of thought, unhurt by thy own flame.
"To Shakespeare"On this hapless earth There ’s small sincerity of mirth, And laughter oft is but an art To drown the outcry of the heart.
"Address to certain Gold-fishes"She is not fair to outward view As many maidens be; Her loveliness I never knew Until she smiled on me: Oh! then I saw her eye was bright, A well of love, a spring of light.
"Song. She is not fair"Her very frowns are fairer far Than smiles of other maidens are.
"Song. She is not fair"Our love was nature; and the peace that floated On the white mist, and dwelt upon the hills, To sweet accord subdued our wayward wills: One soul was ours, one mind, one heart devoted, That, wisely doating, ask'd not why it doated. And ours the unknown joy, which knowing kills. But now I find how dear thou wert to me; That man is more than half of nature's treasure, Of that fair beauty which no eye can see, Of that sweet music which no ear can measure; And now the streams may sing for other's pleasure, The hills sleep on in their eternity.
To A Friend
==== Prometheus ====
Fragments of an unfinished play, written c. 1820
Lightly tripping o'er the land, Deftly skimming o'er the main, Scarce our fairy wings bedewing With the frothy mantling brine, Scarce our silver feet acquainting With the verdure-vested ground; Now like swallows o'er a river Gliding low with quivering pinion, Now aloft in ether sailing "Leisurely as summer cloud;" Rising now, anon descending, Swift and bright as shooting stars, Thus we travel glad and free.
SylphsSweet were change, If but a change of tortures! But to grow A motionless rock, fast as my strong prison, Age after age, till circling suns outnumber The sands upon the tide-worn beach! No hope, Or that sad mockery of hope that fools With dull despair, spanning the infinite! Torment unmeasurable!
PrometheusNever till this day Did life disturb the dense eternity Of joyless quiet; never skylark's song, Or storm-bird's prescient scream, or eaglet's cry, Made vital the gross fog. The very light Is but an alien that can find no welcome
PrometheusHard I strove To put away my immortality, Till my collected spirits swell'd my heart Almost to bursting; but the strife is past. It is a fearful thing to be a god, And, like a god, endure a mortal's pain; To be a show for earth and wondering heaven To gaze and shudder at! But I will live, That Jove may know there is a deathless soul Who ne'er will be his subject. Yes, 'tis past. The stedfast Fates confess my absolute will,— Their own co-equal.
PrometheusNow, we are agreed, I and my destinies. The total world, — Above, below, whate'er is seen or known, And all that men, and all that gods enact, Hopes, fears, imaginations, purposes; With joy, and pain, and every pulse that beats In the great body of the universe, I give to the eternal sisterhood, To make my peace withal! And cast this husk, This hated, mangled, and dishonour'd carcase Into the balance; so have I redeem'd My proper birthright, even the changeless mind, The imperishable essence uncontroll'd.
PrometheusThe mighty Jove did love us. Did? He does. There is a spell of unresisted power In wonder-working weak simplicity, Because it is not fear'd.
SylphsWe have winning wiles and witcheries, Such incantations as thy sterner wit Did never dream of. Time hath been ere now That Jove hath listen'd to our minstrelsy. Till wrath would seem to drop out of his soul Like a forgotten thing.
SylphsTrue, thy fault is great, But we are many that will plead for thee; We and our sisters, dwellers in the streams That murmur blithely to the joyous mood, And dolefully to sadness. Not a nook In darkest woods but some of us are there, To watch the flowers, that else would die unseen.
SylphsWhere'er ye sojourn, and whatever names Ye are or shall be called; fairies, or sylphs, Nymphs of the wood or mountain, flood or field: Live ye in peace, and long may ye be free To follow your good minds.
PrometheusAre we not bold to bid a god repent; To break upon his slumbers with our prayers; To watch him day and night; to wear him out With endless supplication? Perhaps to beg His kind attention to a pleasant tale; To cheat him into pity, and conclude Each story with Prometheus?
SylphsGentle powers, forbear! Twere worse than all my miseries foreseen Should my huge wreck suck down the friendly skiffs That proffer'd aid. Oh! would that Jupiter Had hurl'd me to the deep of Erebus, Where neither god nor man might pity me.
PrometheusNow shall I become a common tale, A ruin'd fragment of a worn-out world; Unchanging record of unceasing change. Eternal landmark to the tide of time. Swift generations, that forget each other, Shall still keep up the memory of my shame Till I am grown an unbelieved fable.
PrometheusHorsed upon hippogriffs, the hags of night Shall come to visit me; and once an age Some desperate wight, or wizard, gaunt and grey, Shall seek this spot by help of hidden lore, To ask of things forgotten or to come. But who, beholding me, shall dare defy The wrath of Jove? Since vain is wisdom's boast, And impotent the knowledge that o'erleaps The dusky bourne of time. Twere better far That gods should quaff their nectar merrily, And men sing out the day like grasshoppers, So may they haply lull the watchful thunder.
PrometheusGo your way. Forget Prometheus, And all the woe that he is doom'd to bear; By his own choice this vile estate preferring To ignorant bliss and unfelt slavery.
PrometheusJove is not one half so merciless As thou art to thyself. But fare thee well; Our love is all as stubborn as thy pride, And swift as firm.
SylphsWhat were Jove himself If pity had not been? Was not he once A hapless babe, condemn'd to die ere born?
SylphsHe grew, and grew, A star-bright sign of fated empery; And all conspiring omens led him on To lofty purpose and pre-eminence. The mountain eagles, towering in their pride, Stoop'd at his beck and flock'd about his path, Like the small birds by wintry famine tamed; Or with their dusky and expansive wings Shaded and fann'd him as he slept at noon. The lightnings danced before him sportively, And shone innocuous as the pale cold moon In the clear blue of his celestial eye.
SylphsThe glad sons of the deliver'd earth Shall yearly raise their multitudinous voice, Hymning great Jove, the God of Liberty! Then he grew proud, yet gentle in his pride, And full of tears, which well became his youth, As showers do spring. For he was quickly moved, And joy'd to hear sad stories that we told Of what we saw on earth, of death and woe, And all the waste of time. Then would he swear That he would conquer time; that in his reign It never should be winter; he would have No pain, no growing old, no death at all. And that the pretty damsels, whom we said He must not love, for they would die and leave him, Should evermore be young and beautiful; Or, if they must go, they should come again, Like as the flowers did. Thus he used to prate, Till we almost believed him.
SylphsAye, ye were blest with folly. Who may tell What strange conceits upon the earth were sown And gender'd by the fond garrulity Of your aereal music? Scatter'd notes, Half heard, half fancied by the erring sense Of man, on which they fell like downy seeds Sown by autumnal winds, grew up, and teem'd With plenteous madness.
PrometheusThere is a dark foreboding in thy speech; Thine eyes flash fearfully a moody joy That augurs a new downfall. Whence arise These desperate hopes, that seem to make thee fond Of lowest misery?
SylphsI know it all — All ye would ask. But ne'er shall hope be mine Till the dread secret works its fatal will In daylight visible, with wrath and scorn, And ceaseless memory of forgotten things. Then Jove shall learn what all his sulphurous bolts, Soul-piercing torments, earthquakes, fiery plagues, Disease, and loathsome, black deformity, And all confounding shame, shall ne'er persuade My voice to utter.
PrometheusYe patient fields, rejoice! The blessing that ye pray for silently Is come at last; for ye shall no more fade, Nor see your flow'rets droop like famishing babes Upon your comfortless breasts.
SylphsWith all your music, loud and lustily, With every dainty joy of sight and smell, Prepare a banquet meet to entertain The Lord of Thunder, that hath set you free From old oppression.
SylphsThou breeze, That mak'st an organ of the mighty sea, Obedient to thy wilful phantasies, Provoke him not to scorn; but soft and low, As pious maid awakes her aged sire, On tiptoe stealing, whisper in his ear The tidings of the young god's victory.
SylphsOh, where is man— That mortal god, that hath no mortal kin Or like on earth? Shall Nature's orator— The interpreter of all her mystic strains — Shall he be mute in Nature's jubilee?
SylphsMortal! fear no more,— The reign is past of ancient violence; And Jove hath sworn that time shall not deface, Nor death destroy, nor mutability Perplex the truth of love.
== External links ==
Essays of Hartley Coleridge
Complete Poems of Hartley Coleridge, Vol 1
Complete Poems of Hartley Coleridge, Vol 2
Biographia Borealis; or, Lives of Distinguished Northerns
Worthies of Yorkshire and Lancashire