Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834 / Devon / England)
To A Lady, With Falconer's 'Shipwreck'
Oh! not by Cam or Isis, famous streams
In arched groves, the youthful poet's choice;
Nor while half-listening, mid delicious dreams,
To harp and song from lady's hand and voice;
Nor yet while gazing in sublimer mood
On cliff, or cataract, in Alpine dell;
Nor in dim cave with bladdery sea-weed strewed,
Framing wild fancies to the ocean's swell;
Our sea-bard sang this song! which still he sings,
And sings for thee, sweet friend! Hark, Pity, hark
Now mounts, now totters on the tempest's wings,
Now groans, and shivers, the replunging bark!
'Cling to the shrouds!' In vain! The breakers roar--
Death shrieks! With two alone of all his clan
Forlorn the poet paced the Grecian shore,
No classic roamer, but a ship-wrecked man!
Say then, what muse inspired these genial strains
And lit his spirit to so bright a flame?
The elevating thought of suffered pains,
Which gentle hearts shall mourn; but chief, the name
Of gratitude! remembrance of friend,
Or absent or no more! shades of the Past,
Which Loves make substance! Hence to thee I send,
O dear as long as life and memory last!
I send with deep regards of heart and head,
Sweet maid, for friendship formed! this work to thee
And thou, the while thou canst not choose but shed
A tear for Falconer, wilt remember me.
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