Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, INSCRIPTIONS FOR A SEAT BY THE ROAD SIDE HALF-WAY UP A STEEP HILL, by SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE



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INSCRIPTIONS FOR A SEAT BY THE ROAD SIDE HALF-WAY UP A STEEP HILL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Thou who in youthful vigour rich, and light
Last Line: Then wake in heaven, and find the dream all true.


Thou who in youthful vigour rich, and light
With youthful thoughts dost need no rest! O thou,
To whom alike the valley and the hill
Present a path of ease! Should e'er thine eye
Glance on this sod, and this rude tablet, stop!
'Tis a rude spot, yet here, with thankful hearts,
The foot-worn soldier and his family
Have rested, wife and babe, and boy, perchance
Some eight years old or less, and scantly fed,
Garbed like his father, and already bound
To his poor father's trade. Or think of him
Who, laden with his implements of toil,
Returns at night to some far distant home,
And having plodded on through rain and mire
With limbs o'erlaboured, weak from feverish heat,
And chafed and fretted by December blasts,
Here pauses, thankful he hath reached so far,
And 'mid the sheltering warmth of these bleak trees
Finds restoration -- or reflect on those
Who in the spring to meet the warmer sun
Crawl up this steep hill-side, that needlessly
Bends double their weak frames, already bowed
By age or malady, and when, at last,
They gain this wished-for turf, this seat of sods,
Repose -- and, well-admonished, ponder here
On final rest. And if a serious thought
Should come uncalled -- how soon thy motions high,
Thy balmy spirits and thy fervid blood
Must change to feeble, withered, cold and dry --
Cherish the wholesome sadness! And where'er
The tide of Life impel thee, O be prompt
To make thy present strength the staff of all,
Their staff and resting-place -- so shalt thou give
To Youth the sweetest joy that Youth can know;
And for thy future self thou shalt provide
Through every change of various life, a seat,
Not built by hands, on which thy inner part,
Imperishable, many a grievous hour,
Or bleak or sultry may repose -- yea, sleep
The sleep of Death, and dream of blissful worlds,
Then wake in Heaven, and find the dream all true.





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