Treasure Island

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834 / Devon / England)

To C. Lloyd, On His Proposing To Domesticate With The Author


A mount, not wearisome and bare and steep,
But a green mountain variously up-piled
Where o'er the jutting rocks soft mosses creep
Or colored lichens with slow oozing weep;
Where cypress and the darker yew start wild;
And 'mid the summer torrent's gentle dash
Dance brightened the red clusters of the ash;
Beneath whose boughs, by stillest sounds beguiled,
Calm pensiveness might muse herself to sleep;
Till haply startled by some fleecy dam,
That rustling on the bushy cliff above
With melancholy bleat of anxious love
Made meek enquiry for her wand'ring lamb:
Such a green mountain 'twere most sweet to climb
E'en while the bosom ached with loneliness--
How heavenly sweet, if some dear friend should bless
Th' advent'rous toil, and up the path sublime
Now lead, now follow; the glad landscape round
Wide and more wide, increasing without bound!

O then 'twere loveliest sympathy, to mark
The berries of the half up-rooted ash
Dripping and bright; and list the torrent's dash--
Beneath the cypress, or the yew more dark,
Seated at ease, on some smooth mossy rock;
In social silence now, and now t' unlock
The treasured heart; arm linked in friendly arm,
Save if the one, his muse's witching charm
Mutt'ring brow-bent, at unwatched distance lag;
Till high o'er-head his beck'ning friend appears,
And from the forehead of the topmost crag
Shouts eagerly; for haply there uprears
That shadowing pine its old romantic limbs
Which latest shall detain the enamoured sight
Seen from below, when eve the valley dims,
Tinged yellow with the rich departing light;
And haply, basoned in some unsunned cleft,
A beauteous spring, the rock's collected tears,
Sleeps unsheltered there, scarce wrinkled by the gale!
Together thus, the world's vain turmoil left,
Stretched on the crag, and shadowed by the pine,
And bending o'er the clear delicious fount,
Ah, dearest Charles! it were a lot divine
To cheat our noons in moralizing mood,
While west winds fanned our temples, toil-bedewed
Then downwards slope, oft-pausing, from the mount
To some low mansion in some woody dale,
Where, smiling with blue eye, domestic bliss
Gives this the husband's, that the brother's kiss!

Thus rudely versed in allegoric lore,
The hill of knowledge I essayed to trace;
That verd'rous hill with many a resting-place
And many a stream, whose warbling waters pour
To glad and fertilize the subject plains;
That hill with secret springs, and nooks untrod,
And many a fancy-blest and holy sod
Where inspiration, his diviner strains
Low-murm'ring, lay; and starting from the rocks
Stiff evergreens, whose spreading foliage mocks
Want's barren soil, and the bleak frosts of age,
And mad oppression's thunder-clasping rage!

O meek retiring spirit! we will climb,
Cheering and cheered, this lovely hill sublime;
And from the stirring world uplifted high
(Whose noises faintly wafted on the wind
To quiet musings shall attune the mind,
And oft the melancholy theme supply),
There while the prospect thro' the gazing eye
Pours all its healthful greenness on the soul,
We'll laugh at wealth, and learn to laugh at fame,
Our hopes, our knowledge, and our joys the same,
As neighb'ring fountains image each the whole.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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