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Human Life - Poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

If dead, we cease to be ; if total gloom
Swallow up life's brief flash for aye, we fare
As summer-gusts, of sudden birth and doom,
Whose sound and motion not alone declare,
But are their whole of being ! If the breath
Be Life itself, and not its task and tent,
If even a soul like Milton's can know death ;
O Man ! thou vessel purposeless, unmeant,
Yet drone-hive strange of phantom purposes !
Surplus of Nature's dread activity,
Which, as she gazed on some nigh-finished vase,
Retreating slow, with meditative pause,
She formed with restless hands unconsciously.
Blank accident ! nothing's anomaly !
If rootless thus, thus substanceless thy state,
Go, weigh thy dreams, and be thy hopes, thy fears,
The counter-weights !--Thy laughter and thy tears
Mean but themselves, each fittest to create
And to repay the other ! Why rejoices
Thy heart with hollow joy for hollow good ?
Why cowl thy face beneath the mourner's hood ?
Why waste thy sighs, and thy lamenting voices,
Image of Image, Ghost of Ghostly Elf,
That such a thing as thou feel'st warm or cold ?
Yet what and whence thy gain, if thou withhold
These costless shadows of thy shadowy self ?
Be sad ! be glad ! be neither ! seek, or shun !
Thou hast no reason why ! Thou canst have none ;
Thy being's being is contradiction.


Comments about Human Life by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • Rookie KEERTHY (7/2/2018 9:11:00 AM)

    VERY GOOD POE.MY APPLASEAND LOVE TO YOU (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie Chalo John (6/30/2016 1:51:00 PM)

    It is true that life is meaningless even though we forget that. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Peter Cheyne (3/2/2016 1:57:00 AM)

    Instead of reading this poem as kind advice to a likeminded other, try reading it as Coleridge––who did not believe that once 'dead, we cease to be'––attempting to persuade an atheist that human life is indeed meaningful, and that our life is not 'Blank accident! nothing's anomaly! ' Those who believe, however, that human life is merely 'Blank accident', have no reason by their own premises, Coleridge is arguing, to be sad––or glad. (Report) Reply

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Poems About Life

  1. 1. A Psalm Of Life , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  2. 2. Life , Charlotte Brontë
  3. 3. Life In A Love , Robert Browning
  4. 4. O Me! O Life! , Walt Whitman
  5. 5. Life In A Bottle , Robert Browning
  6. 6. Love In A Life , Robert Browning
  7. 7. Human Life , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  8. 8. The Buried Life , Matthew Arnold
  9. 9. Full Of Life, Now , Walt Whitman
  10. 10. Life , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  11. 11. River Of Life, The , Thomas Campbell
  12. 12. Life Is What Life Is , Edward Veilleux
  13. 13. How Life Is For Life (Tanka) , Muzahidul Reza
  14. 14. The Course Of Life, Time, And Events And.. , Merlin Archivilla
  15. 15. Life (The Real Meaning Of Life) , C.N.Premkumar (love poems, V ..
  16. 16. What Is Life? , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  17. 17. Too Much Of A Good Thing (Life Life Li.. , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  18. 18. An Image From A Past Life , William Butler Yeats
  19. 19. The Treasure Of Life , Olive Walters
  20. 20. Life Goes On , Elizabeth Quinn
  21. 21. Each Life Converges To Some Centre , Emily Dickinson
  22. 22. Xxxvi Life-In-Love , Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  23. 23. Life Is Love, And Love Is Life , Anna Jonson
  24. 24. A Life Went Wrong.......The Denial Of Life , saadat tahir
  25. 25. A Life Of Death, Or The Death Of Life , Andre Veilleux
  26. 26. (c) 1 (Life/Philosophy) Life Is.... , Renu Rakheja a.k.a Tranquil ..
  27. 27. Views Of Life , Anne Brontë
  28. 28. Life Beyond, The , Rupert Brooke
  29. 29. Ploughman's Life, The , Robert Burns
  30. 30. The Country Life: , Robert Herrick
  31. 31. Choice? (Life Life Life Life Life) , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  32. 32. Life Is The Body's Light , Robert Herrick
  33. 33. Weave In, Weave In, My Hardy Life , Walt Whitman
  34. 34. End To Life And Life To Come , Cassandra Reiman
  35. 35. Long Life (Life Is Too Short, But Just .. , Tricia Mae Chua
  36. 36. Life Is Just Like Life , Rahman Henry
  37. 37. Tie The Strings To My Life, My Lord, , Emily Dickinson
  38. 38. Love Love - Life Life , M. Asim Nehal
  39. 39. Life Is Life , Samir E...
  40. 40. My Life, My Worthless Life , Gary Witt
  41. 41. The Plaudite, Or End Of Life , Robert Herrick
  42. 42. Imagine Life Rights Click Here To Liste.. , Bernadette Gannon
  43. 43. Life Of My Life, You Seem To Me , Torquato Tasso
  44. 44. Teachers, Of Life, Or Teachers In Life. , Michael Gale
  45. 45. Leaflets From My Life - My Father's Firs.. , Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon
  46. 46. Life...After Life , (brief renderings) Joe Fazio
  47. 47. Life Raft Of Life , (brief renderings) Joe Fazio
  48. 48. Life Is...Well, After All...Just Life , Scarlett Treat
  49. 49. Life, Purpose, My Life... My Life... , Yiannis Baki
  50. 50. One Life To Live One Life To Love , pinky porwal
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