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THE CHARM OF COLERIDGE'S POETRY
'Ah, as I listened with a heart forlorn
And when-O Friend ! my comforter and guide!
And when I rose, I found myself in prayer.”
When the poetry is not emanative, the movement of the thought is entirely governed by feeling. “Christabel” is a fragment of most wonderful quality, and exhibits another singular feature of Coleridge's poetry—his marvellous power of touching the sense of the supernatural.
It was through Coleridge that Wordsworth made the acquaintance of Southey, a man who had very little intellectual sympathy with either of the other two members of the supposed Triad of Lake Poets. He was a young man of twenty at Balliol College in Oxford when Coleridge, always craving for the company of congenial comrades, introduced himself. Coleridge, two years older, had just broken off a second period of keeping terms at Cambridge, and had already had several characteristic adventures, the most notable of which was the freak of enlisting as a dragoon. He had contracted some debts at Cambridge, and this was his mode of evading his responsibilities. He took the name of Silas Thompson Comberbatch, filling out his own initials S. T. C., and, according to the most authentic form of the story, was discovered to be something more than he seemed by writing a Latin quotation on the wall of the stable. When he was discovered, his friends were communicated with, and he obtained his discharge ; but he did not take kindly to Cambridge afterward, and when he called upon Southey, his head was full of a wild scheme for establishing a small community under a new form of government in some remote part of America. Pantisocracy was to be the name given to this new model of a happy state, and the essence of the plan was that the members of the small community, having purchased a tract of land, should raise with their own hands the necessaries of life, while their wives—marriage was indispensable for a Pantisocrat-should look after the household and the children. All goods were to be in common, and the plan differed from ordinary communism only in this, that the men were all to devote a large part of their time to the cultivation of literature. Half the day, Coleridge calculated, would suffice for the provision of simple food and clothes; the rest was to be given to high thinking and poetry. Though Coleridge afterward became the leading mind among
the philosophical Tories, and Southey a bitter and
for their poems,
deed, took one step toward realizing it, by providing themselves with wives. There was a family of pretty and amiable sisters in Bristol of the name of Fricker, and Lovell, Southey, and Coleridge married one each. Then an uncle of Southey's intervened, and carried him off to Portugal for a time. There the history of Pantisocracy ends. Southey returned from Portugal with other aims, and Coleridge, though angry at first at his desertion, soon drifted off contentedly into other engrossing occupations for his fertile imagination. His besetting sin of irresolution never left him, with the result that, on his death in 1834, he left behind him a great reputation, but only fragments to support it—fragments, however, which fully justified the admiration of his contemporaries.
CAMPBELL" PLEASURES OF HOPE -THOMAS MOORE-THE LAST
The great poets who made the beginning of the nineteenth century famous appeared above the horizon one after another in quick succession. In the same year in which the volume of “Lyrical Ballads” was issued by a Bristol publisher, a poem was published in Edinburgh and received throughout the country with much less mixed approbation. This was the “Pleasures of Hope,” the work of a still younger man than either Wordsworth or Coleridge, Thomas Campbell, a youth of one-and-twenty, uncertain at the time as to his career, and himself alternating so violently between despair and hope when he thought of the future that his friends were disposed at times to doubt his sanity. It is significant that both these publications of the dawn of a new period came from the provinces. In Campbell's work, which is known to every school-boy and school-girl in lines and extracts, but which nobody reads now as a whole except under some other compulsion than the fascination of the poetry, there were no signs of a disposition to break with the past either in form or in choice of subject. Akenside, fifty years before, had sung the “ Pleasures of the Imagination," and Samuel Rogers, following him, had in 1793 sung the “Pleasures of Memory," and the happy thought occurred to young Campbell, suggested apparently by a jocular passage in a friend's letter, of continuing the series. Hope was in