Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Coleridge was the son of a vicar. He was educated at Christ's Hospital, London, where he became friendly with Lamb and Leigh Hunt and went on to Jesus College Cambridge, where he failed to get a degree. In the summer of 1794 Coleridge became friends with the future Poet Laureate Southey, with whom he wrote a verse drama. Together they formed a plan to establish a Pantisocracy, a Utopian community, in New England. They married sisters, but the scheme fell apart and they argued over money and politics.
Coleridge at this time was an ardent non-conformist and in 1796 preached throughout the West Country, deciding, however, not to become a minister. In 1797 he met William Wordsworth and for the next year and a half lived and worked closely with him, collaborating to produce the Lyrical Ballads. In 1798, disillusioned with English politics, Coleridge set out for Germany, where he studied Kant, Schiller and Scheling. On his return he moved to the Lake District to be with the Wordsworths, but suffered from his failing marriage and an increasing dependence on opium. He also fell hopelessly in love with Wordsworth's future sister-in-law, Sara Hutchinson, the inspiration for his love poems of this period, and separated from his wife in 1807. Coleridge failed to restore his health or mental balance and quarrelled irrevocably with Wordsworth in 1810, alienating also Dorothy and Sara, with whom he had been editing a periodical The Friend. Winter 1813-14 brought a rebirth of his religious beliefs and for the first time he openly admitted his opium addiction and sought medical help. In 1816 he lodged in the London household of a young surgeon Dr James Gilman, where he was to remain for the rest of his life. The publication of Christabel in this year assured his reputation as a poet but the end of his life was taken up with religious and philosophical prose works.
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Samuel Taylor Coleridge Poems
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree : Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless
The Suicide's Argument
Ere the birth of my life, if I wished it or no No question was asked me--it could not be so ! If the life was the question, a thing sent to try And to live on be YES; what can NO be ? to die.
The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
It is an ancient Mariner, And he stoppeth one of three. `By thy long beard and glittering eye, Now wherefore stopp'st thou me ?
Fears In Solitude
A green and silent spot, amid the hills, A small and silent dell ! O'er stiller place No singing sky-lark ever poised himself.
Frost At Midnight
The Frost performs its secret ministry, Unhelped by any wind. The owlet's cry Came loud--and hark, again ! loud as before. The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
The Good, Great Man
'How seldom, friend! a good great man inherits Honour or wealth with all his worth and pains! It sounds like stories from the land of spirits If any man obtain that which he merits
Where true Love burns Desire is Love's pure flame; It is the reflex of our earthly frame, That takes its meaning from the nobler part,
All thoughts, all passions, all delights, Whatever stirs this mortal frame, All are but ministers of Love, And feed his sacred flame.
I have experienc'd The worst, the World can wreak on me--the worst That can make Life indifferent, yet disturb With whisper'd Discontents the dying prayer--
A Day Dream
My eyes make pictures when they're shut:-- I see a fountain large and fair, A Willow and a ruined Hut,
Work Without Hope
All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair-- The bees are stirring--birds are on the wing-- And WINTER slumbering in the open air, Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring !
Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
IN SEVEN PARTS Facile credo, plures esse Naturas invisibiles quam visibiles in rerum universitate. Sed horum omnium familiam quis nobis enarrabit? et gradus et
The sole true Something--This ! In Limbo Den It frightens Ghosts as Ghosts here frighten men-- For skimming in the wake it mock'd the care Of the old Boat-God for his Farthing Fare ;
A Child's Evening Prayer
Ere on my bed my limbs I lay, God grant me grace my prayers to say: O God! preserve my mother dear
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.
Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,
Beside the ruined tower.