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And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war.2

The shadow of the dome of pleasure

Floated midway on the waves;

Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.

It was a miracle of rare device,

A sunny pleasure-dome, with caves of ice!
A damsel with a dulcimer

In a vision once I saw :

It was an Abyssinian maid,

And on her dulcimer she play'd,
Singing of Mount Abora.

Could I revive within me

Her symphony and song,

To such a deep delight 't would win me,
That with music loud and long,

I would build that dome in air,

That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,

For he on honey-dew hath fed,

And drunk the milk of Paradise.

1 “In Xanadu.”—I think I recollect a variation of this stanza, as follows:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-house ordain,
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man,
Down to a sunless main.

The nice-eared poet probably thought there were too many ns in these rhymes; and man and main are certainly not the best neighbors: yet there is such an open, sounding, and stately intonation in the words pleasure-house ordain, and it is so superior to pleasure-dome decree, that I am not sure I would not give up the correctness of the other terminations to retain it.

But what a grand flood is this, flowing down through measureless caverns to a sea without a sun! I know no other sea equal

to it, except Keats's, in his Ode to a Nightingale; and none can surpass that.

2" Ancestral voices prophesying war."-Was ever anything more wild, and remote, and majestic, than this fiction of the “ancestral voices?" Methinks I hear them, out of the blackness of the past.


Verse, a breeze 'mid blossoms straying,
Where hope clung feeding like a bee—
Both were mine! Life went a-Maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
When I was young!

When I was young? Ah, woful when!
Ah, for the change 'twixt now and then!
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O'er aery cliffs and glittering sands,
How lightly then it flash'd along!—
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,

That fear no spite of wind or tide!

Naught cared this body for wind or weather,
When youth and I lived in 't together.

Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like:
Friendship is a sheltering tree;

O the joys that came down shower-like,
Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,
Ere I was old!

Ere I was old? Ah, woful ere!
Which tells me Youth's no longer here!
O Youth! for years so many and sweet,
'T is known, that thou and 1 were one;'
I'll think it but a fond deceit-

It cannot be that thou art gone!
Thy vesper-bell hath not yet toll'd,

And thou wert aye a masker bold !
What strange disguise hast now put on,
To make believe that thou art gone?
I see these locks in silvery slips,
This drooping gait, this alter'd size;
But springtide blossoms on thy lips,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes!

Life is but thought; so think I will,

That Youth and I are house-mates still.

This is one of the most perfect poems, for style, feeling, and everything, that ever were written.



-Fable is Love's world, his home, his birthplace:

Delightedly dwells he 'mong fays and talismans,
And spirits; and delightedly believes

Divinities, being himself divine.

The intelligible forms of ancient poets,
The fair humanities of old religion,

The power, the beauty, and the majesty,

That had her haunts in dale, or piny mountain,

Or forest by slow stream, or pebbly spring,

Or chasms and wat'ry depths; all these have vanish'd,
They live no longer in the faith of reason;

But still the heart doth need a language; still
Doth the old instinct bring back the old names;
And to yon starry world they now are gone,
Spirits or gods, that used to share this earth
With man as with their friend; and to the lover
Yonder they move; from yonder visible sky
Shoot influence down: and even at this day
'Tis Jupiter who brings whate'er is great,
And Venus who brings everything that's fair



All Nature seems at work. Stags 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!
And I, the while, the sole unbusy thing,

Nor honey make, nor paìr, nor build, nor sìng.
Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.
Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may;
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrighten'd, wreathless brow, I stroll:
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul!
Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve,

And hope without an object cannot live.

I insert this poem on account of the exquisite imaginative picture in the third and fourth lines, and the terseness and melody of the whole. Here we have a specimen of a perfect style,unsuperfluous, straightforward, suggestive, impulsive, and seBut how the writer of such verses could talk of "work


without hope," I cannot say. What work had he better to do than to write more? and what hope but to write more still, and delight himself and the world? But the truth is, his mind was too active and self-involved to need the diversion of work; and his body, the case that contained it, too sluggish with sedentary living to like it; and so he persuaded himself that if his writings did not sell, they were of no use. Are we to disrespect these self-delusions in such a man? No; but to draw from them salutary cautions for ourselves,-his inferiors.


BORN, 1792,-DIED, 1822.

AMONG the many reasons which his friends had to deplore the premature death of this splendid poet and noble-hearted man, the greatest was his not being able to repeat, to a more attentive public, his own protest, not only against some of his earlier effusions (which he did in the newspapers), but against all which he had written in a wailing and angry, instead of an invariably calm, loving, and therefore thoroughly helping spirit. His works, in justice to himself, require either to be winnowed from what he disliked, or to be read with the remembrance of that dislike. He had sensibility almost unique, seemingly fitter for a planet of a different sort, or in more final condition, than ours: he has said of himself,—so delicate was his organization,—that he could

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The weight of the superincumbent hour;"

and the impatience which he vented for some years against that rough working towards good, called evil, and which he carried out into conduct too hasty, subjected one of the most naturally· pious of men to charges which hurt his name, and thwarted his philanthropy. Had he lived, he would have done away all mistake on these points, and made everybody know him for what he was,—a man idolized by his friends,-studious, temperate, of the gentlest life and conversation, and willing to have died to do the world a service. For my part, I never can mention his name without a transport of love and gratitude. I rejoice to have partaken of his cares, and to be both suffering and benefiting from him at this moment; and whenever I think of a future state, and of the great and good Spirit that must

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