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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834 / Devon / England)

Elegy, Imitated From One Of Akenside's Blank-Verse Inscriptions


Near the lone pile with ivy overspread,
Fast by the rivulet's sleep-persuading sound,
Where 'sleeps the moonlight' on yon verdant bed--
O humbly press that consecrated ground!

For there does Edmund rest, the learned swain!
And there his spirit most delights to rove:
Young Edmund! famed for each harmonious strain,
And the sore wounds of ill-requited love.

Like some tall tree that spreads its branches wide,
And loads the west wind with its soft perfume,
His manhood blossomed: till the faithless pride
Of fair Matilda sank him to the tomb.

But soon did righteous Heaven her guilt pursue!
Where'er with wildered step she wandered pale,
Still Edmund's image rose to blast her view,
Still Edmund's voice accused her in each gale.

With keen regret, and conscious guilt's alarms,
Amid the pomp of affluence she pined;
Nor all that lured her faith from Edmund's arms
Could lull the wakeful horror of her mind.

Go, Traveller! tell the tale with sorrow fraught:
Some tearful maid perchance, or blooming youth,
May hold it in remembrance; and be taught
That riches cannot pay for Love or Truth.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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