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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834 / Devon / England)

To A Friend, In Answer To A Melancholy Letter


Away, those cloudy looks, that lab'ring sigh,
The peevish offspring of a sickly hour!
Nor meanly thus complain of fortune's power,
When the blind gamester throws a luckless die.

Yon setting sun flashes a mournful gleam
Behind those broken clouds, his stormy train:
To-morrow shall the many-colord main
In brightness roll beneath his orient beam!

Wild as th' autumnal gust, the hand of Time
Flies o'er his mystic lyre! in shadowy dance
Th' alternate groups of joy and grief advance,
Responsive to his varying strains sublime!

Bears on its wing each hour a load of fate.
The swain, who lulled by Seine's wild murmurs, led
His weary oxen to their nightly shed,
To-day may rule a tempest-troubled State.

Nor shall not fortune with a vengeful smile
Survey the sanguinary despot's might,
And haply hurl the pageant from his height,
Unwept to wander in some savage isle.

There, shiv'ring sad beneath the tempest's frown,
Round his tired limbs to wrap the purple vest;
And mixed with nails and beads, an equal jest!
Barter for food the jewels of his crown.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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