Samuel Taylor Coleridge
William, my teacher, my friend ! dear William and dear Dorothea !
Smooth out the folds of my letter, and place it on desk or on table ;
Place it on table or desk ; and your right hands loosely half-closing,
Gently sustain them in air, and extending the digit didactic,
Rest it a moment on each of the forks of the five-forkéd left hand,
Twice on the breadth of the thumb, and once on the tip of each finger ;
Read with a nod of the head in a humouring recitativo ;
And, as I live, you will see my hexameters hopping before you.
This is a galloping measure ; a hop, and a trot, and a gallop !
All my hexameters fly, like stags pursued by the staghounds,
Breathless and panting, and ready to drop, yet flying still onwards,
I would full fain pull in my hard-mouthed runaway hunter ;
But our English Spondeans are clumsy yet impotent curb-reins ;
And so to make him go slowly, no way left have I but to lame him.
William, my head and my heart ! dear Poet that feelest and thinkest !
Dorothy, eager of soul, my most affectionate sister !
Many a mile, O ! many a wearisome mile are ye distant,
Long, long, comfortless roads, with no one eye that doth know us.
O ! it is all too far to send to you mockeries idle :
Yea, and I feel it not right ! But O ! my friends, my belovéd !
Feverish and wakeful I lie,--I am weary of feeling and thinking.
Every thought is worn down,--I am weary, yet cannot be vacant.
Five long hours have I tossed, rheumatic heats, dry and flushing,
Gnawing behind in my head, and wandering and throbbing about me,
Busy and tiresome, my friends, as the beat of the boding night-spider.
I forget the beginning of the line :
[Image][Image][Image][Image][Image] ... my eyes are a burthen,
Now unwillingly closed, now open and aching with darkness.
O ! what a life is the eye ! what a strange and inscrutable essence !
Him that is utterly blind, nor glimpses the fire that warms him ;
Him that never beheld the swelling breast of his mother ;
Him that smiled in his gladness as a babe that smiles in its slumber ;
Even for him it exists, it moves and stirs in its prison ;
Lives with a separate life, and `Is it a Spirit ?' he murmurs :
`Sure, it has thoughts of its own, and to see is only a language.'
There was a great deal more, which I have forgotten. ... The last line
which I wrote, I remember, and write it for the truth of the sentiment,
scarcely less true in company than in pain and solitude :--
William, my head and my heart ! dear William and dear Dorothea !
You have all in each other ; but I am lonely, and want you !
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Hexameters by Samuel Taylor Coleridge )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(9 February 1874 – 12 May 1925)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- A Poison Tree, William Blake
- The Rose that Grew from Concrete, Tupac Shakur
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe