Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LINES WRITTEN AT SHURTON BARS, NEAR BRIDGEWATER, by SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE



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LINES WRITTEN AT SHURTON BARS, NEAR BRIDGEWATER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Nor travels my meandering eye
Last Line: Shoots rapid through the frame!


Good verse most good, and bad verse then seems better
Recceived from absent friend by way of Letter.
For what so sweet can laboured lays impart
As one rude rhyme warm from a friendly heart?
ANON.

Nor travels my meandering eye
The starry wilderness on high;
Nor now with curious sight
I mark the glow-worm, as I pass,
Move with 'green radiance' through the grass,
An emerald of light.

O ever present to my view!
My wafted spirit is with you,
And soothes your boding fears:
I see you all oppressed with gloom
Sit lonely in that cheerless room --
Ah me! You are in tears!

Beloved Woman! did you fly
Chilled Friendship's dark disliking eye,
Or Mirth's untimely din?
With cruel weight these trifles press
A temper sore with tenderness,
When aches the Void within.

But why with sable wand unblest
Should Fancy rouse within my breast
Dim-visaged shapes of Dread?
Untenanting its beauteous clay
My Sara's soul has winged its way,
And hovers round my head!

I felt it prompt the tender dream,
When slowly sank the day's last gleam;
You roused each gentler sense,
As sighing o'er the blossom's bloom
Meek Evening wakes its soft perfume
With viewless influence.

And hark, my Love! The sea-breeze moans
Through yon reft house! O'er rolling stones
In bold ambitious sweep,
The onward-surging tides supply
The silence of the cloudless sky
With mimic thunders deep.

Dark reddening from the channelled Isle
(Where stands one solitary pile
Unslated by the blast)
The watchfire, like a sullen star
Twinkles to many a dozing tar
Rude cradled on the mast.

Even there -- beneath that light-house tower --
In the tumultuous evil hour
Ere Peace with Sara came,
Time was, I should have thought it sweet
To count the echoings of my feet,
And watch the storm-vexed flame.

And there in black soul-jaundiced fit
A sad gloom-pampered Man to sit,
And listen to the roar:
When mountain surges bellowing deep
With an uncouth monster leap
Plunged foaming on the shore.

Then by the lightning's blaze to mark
Some toiling tempest-shattered bark;
Her vain distress-guns hear;
And when a second sheet of light
Flashed o'er the blackness of the night --
To see no vessel there!

But Fancy now more gaily sings;
Or if awhile she droop her wings,
As sky-larks 'mid the corn,
On summer fields she grounds her breast:
The oblivious poppy o'er her nest
Nods, till returning morn.

O mark those smiling tears, that swell
The opened rose! From heaven they fell,
And with the sun-beam blend.
Blest visitations from above,
Such are the tender woes of Love
Fostering the heart they bend!

When stormy Midnight howling round
Beats on our roof with clattering sound,
To me your arms you'll stretch:
Great God! you'll say -- To us so kind,
O shelter from this loud bleak wind
The houseless, friendless wretch!

The tears that tremble down your cheek,
Shall bathe my kisses chaste and meek
In Pity's dew divine;
And from your heart the sighs that steal
Shall make your rising bosom feel
The answering swell of mine!

How oft, my Love! with shapings sweet
I paint the moment, we shall meet!
With eager speed I dart --
I seize you in the vacant air,
And fancy, with a husband's care
I press you to my heart!

'Tis said, in Summer's evening hour
Flashes the golden-coloured flower
A fair electric flame:
And so shall flash my love-charged eye
When all the heart's big ecstasy
Shoots rapid through the frame!





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