preciate. We may mention that in Shelvocke's narrative an albatross is shot in the hopes of causing some improvement in the state of the weather. On this fact, or rather the expansion of this fact, Coleridge's poem was based. Thomas de Quincey has, in his "Recollections of the Lakes and the Lake Poets," fallen foul of Coleridge for not having expressed his obligations to Shelvocke. "In the year 1810," he says, "I happened to be amusing myself by reading, in their chronological order, the great classical circumnavigations of the earth; and, coming to Shelvocke, I met with a passage to this effect That Hatley, his second mate (i.e., lieutenant), being a melancholy man, was possessed by a fancy that some long season of foul weather in the solitary sea which they were then traversing was due to an albatross which had steadily pursued the ship; upon which he shot the bird, but without mending their condition. There I at once saw the germ of The Ancient Mariner'; and I put a question to Coleridge accordingly." Whether Coleridge was ignorant of Shelvocke's nar rative, or whether he had read it and forgotten it, surely matters but little.


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The Ancient Mariner" was finished and sent to the press, and in due course made its appearance.

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But Coleridge's literary activity at Stowey was not represented solely by those productions to which we have already made reference. In his cottage at Nether Stowey during 1798 he produced the first part of" Christabel," Kubla Khan," the tragedy of the "Remorse," "France," This Lime Tree Bower," "Fears in Solitude,' "The Nightingale," "The Wandering of Cain, "Frost at Midnight," ""The Picture," and the lines addressed to his brother and Wordsworth. Of the circumstances in which "Kubla Khan”. dream within a dream, as it has been not inaptly described-Coleridge has himself left us a brief account. 'In the summer of the year 1797," he says, "the author, then in ill-health, had retired to a lonely farm-house between Porlock and Linton, on the Exmoor confines of Somerset and Devonshire. In consequence of a slight indisposition, an anodyne had been prescribed, from


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the effects of which he fell asleep in his chair at the moment he was reading the following sentence, or words of the same substance, in Purchas's Pilgrimage': 'Here the Kubla Khans commanded a palace to be built and a stately garden thereunto; and thus ten miles of fertile ground were enclosed with a wall.' The author continued for about three hours in a profound sleep, at least of the external senses, during which time he has the most vivid confidence that he could not have composed less than from two to three hundred lines. On awaking he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking his pen, ink, and paper instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved." It might very naturally be expected that the poet would commemorate his snug retreat in his verses, and this he has accordingly done in the subjoined lines:

Thy church tower, and methinks the four huge And now, beloved Stowey! I behold


Clustering, which mark the mansion of my


And close behind them, hidden from my view,
Is my own lowly cottage, where my babe
And my babe's mother dwell in peace! With

And quickened footsteps thitherward I trend!

Like the recluse of Olney-the melancholy William Cowper-Coleridge had come to share that poet's fondness for the domestic hearth, when the labors of the day had ended. It was while sitting beside his peaceful cottage hearth at Stowey that he composed that beautiful and pathetic poem entitled, "Frost at Midnight," from which we will quote a few lines:

The frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelp'd by any wind. The owlet's cry
Came loud and hark, again! loud as before.
The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
Have left me to that solitude which suits

Abstruser musings: save that at my side
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
'Tis calm indeed! so calm, that it disturbs
And vexes meditation with its strange
And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood,
This populous village! Sea, and hill, and

With all the numberless goings on of life, Inaudible as dreams! The thin blue flame Lies on my low burnt fire, and quivers not; Only that film, which flutter'd on the grate, Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.

Methinks its motion in this hush of nature
Gives it dim sympathies with me who live,
Making it a companionable form,
Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit
By its own moods interprets, everywhere
Echo or mirror seeking of itself,
And makes a toy of Thought.

Having apostrophized his little sleeping son who is lying cradled by his side, and commended him to the care of Heaven, the poet proceeds thus:

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee, Whether the summer clothe the general earth With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the evedrops fall

Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Despite the unpleasant circumstances to which we have adverted, Wordsworth could regard his stay at Alfoxden only "as a very pleasant and productive time of his life," and, as in the case of Coleridge, some of his best known verses were inspired by its scenery. The romantic glen, of which mention has been made, was the scene of his " Idiot Boy." The ballad "We are Seven," "An Anecdote for Fathers," "The Complaint of a Forsaken Indian Woman," "The Last of the Flock," "Her Eyes are Wild," ""A Night Piece, ""Ruth the Thorn," "Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey," "Peter Bell," "A Whirl-Blast from behind the Hill," "Expostulation and Reply," "The Tables Turned," "Lines Written in Early Spring," "To My Sister," "To Simon Lee," " Goody Blake and Harry Gill," "Animal Tranquillity and Decay"-all these poems were written at Alfoxden during the poet's sojourn there between 1798 and 1799.* We may add that the passages of the "Excursion" which describe the affliction of Margaret, and the lines which form the conclusion of the fourth book, were indited in the same congenial retreat. We may mention, furthermore, on the authority of Mrs. Sandford, who has been familiar with the traditions of the Quantocks from her very earliest days, that the entire poem of "The Idiot


* Nichols's Quantocks.

Boy" was suggested by some words that were actually used by an unfortunate, half-witted youth who was a familiar figure to the inhabitants of Nether Stowey and the neighboring villages: "The cocks did crow, and the moon did shine so cold." The poem itself was composed, "almost extempore," in the groves of Alfoxden, "in gratitude to those happy moments of which it was the offspring." While we are on the subject it is worth noting that the incident which Wordsworth commemorated in the poem called "The Last of the Flock," occurred at a village called Holford, not far distant from Alfoxden. Simon Lee, it seems, had been huntsman to "the squires of Alfoxden," and his " moss-grown hut of clay" occupied a spot on the common a few yards from the entrance of the park, and "near the waterfall." With Simon, Wordsworth was personally acquainted, and had on several occasions observed the Joyous smile which lit up the time worn

countenance of the old rustic whenever "the chiming hounds were out." The words "I dearly love their voice," were but the echoes of those which the huntsman had used, and the poetical sketch, not overdrawn in the least, was taken from life. No wonder that in after years Coleridge, when referring to the sojourn of the elder moralist, could say that he beheld "no clearer view than any loveliest sight of yesterday, that summer under whose indulgent skies, upon smooth Quantock's airy ridge, they roved unchecked, or loitered 'mid her sylvan coombs."

We have already intimated in a former portion of this article that Coleridge's religious opinions were decidedly Socinian, or, as they would now be generally termed, Unitarian, and that he had on several occasions, or as often as the need existed, occupied the pulpits of that denomination at Taunton and elsewhere. His mind was impelled strongly toward theology, and we are among those who believe that he rendered great service toward this study, the highest indeed of all studies, through the merits of Coleridge the poet have all but eclipsed the merits of Coleridge the theologian. In 1798 he was on the point of deciding finally to undertake duty as a regular Unitarian minis

ter, though he was somewhat doubtful in regard to his eligibility, and apprehensive lest the heterodoxy of his political creed should prove a bar to his advancement. Fortunately for himself, though perhaps unfortunately for the Unitarian body, this step was frustrated.

Among his many friends Thomas Poole numbered two, whose names can never be mentioned without reverence by any lover of the memory of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. These were the brothers Josiah and Thomas Wedgwood, of Etruria, in Staffordshire, the sound of whose names has gone out into all the earth as the originators of a remarkable and costly species of pottery ware. Thomas Wedgwood had been a patient of Dr. Beddoes, of Bristol, and in 1798 had more than once paid a visit to Thomas Poole at Nether Stowey, and had there met Coleridge and Words worth, whom he had recognized as men destined to leave their mark upon their times. Thomas Wedgwood himself was no ordinary man. Nature had endowed him, as the old anatomists were wont to say, with good parts. His proficiency in the study of metaphysics won the respect even of such a master in Israel as Coleridge was himself. Disease had, however, marked him for its own. He could now only wander from place to place in the vain quest of that place to place in the vain quest of that priceless treasure, bodily health. Hearing from Poole that Coleridge had set out for Shrewsbury in order to undertake the duties of a Unitarian pulpit in that town, he addressed a letter-characteristic in every line of himself-offering the poet, in his own name and in that of his estimable brother, an annuity of one hundred and fifty pounds. After some hesitation this generous offer was accepted. Unitarian pulpits were abandoned, and Coleridge was placed for

ever above the reach of actual want.

The spring and summer of 1798 were to be the last which Wordsworth and Coleridge were to spend together on "smooth Quantock's airy ridge." Time was therefore precious to them. They were seldom absent from one another, and when they were it was for no very long intervals. When Wordsworth wrote the "Prelude" it is all but certain that he was thinking of the sum

mer that he spent at Alfoxden—“ the buoyant spirits that were our daily portion when we first together wantoned in wild poesy"-" the kindred influence" which found its way to "the heart of hearts" from "that capacious soul, placed on this earth to love and understand," and in whose society.

Thoughts and things

In the self-haunting spirit learned to take
More rational proportions; mystery,
The incumbent mystery of sense and soul,
Of life and death, time and eternity,
Interposition-a serene delight
Admitted more habitually a mild
In closelier gathering cares, such as become

A human creature howsoe'er endowed,
Poet, or destined for a humbler name.

And so the deep enthusiastic jov,

The rapture of the hallelujah sent
From all that breathes and is, was chastened,

And balanced by pathetic truth, by trust
In hopeful reason, leaning on the stay
Of Providence; and in reverence for duty,
Here, if need be, struggling with storms, and

Strewing in peace life's humblest ground with


At every season green, sweet at all hours.*

and sincerest desires of Coleridge's life It had long been one of the earnest to pay a visit to Germany; and, having now the means of doing so, the poet deAccomtermined to realize his wish. panied by the Wordsworths, he quitted thence crossed to Hamburg, and thence Stowey in 1798 for Yarmouth, and proceeded to Germany. His chief objects were to study metaphysical philiterature. Nor did he fail to achieve losophy and the German language and both of these objects. In the Biographia Literaria" the curious reader travels, whom he conversed with, what will find Coleridge's narrative of his he thought, felt, liked, disliked, and

saw. Thomas Poole and other of the


good folk of Stowey received occasional epistles from that Ancient Man, the bright-eyed Mariner," as Wordsworth styles him, and great was the joy that the receipt of them invariably occasioned, for Coleridge was a past-master of the art of correspondence, in an age After a sojourn of fourteen months on when correspondence was still an art. German soil, Coleridge returned home

*The Prelude Book xiv.

to his old roof at Stowey, with a prodigious stock of varied erudition. He had, however, lost the relish which he had once possessed for Stowey. Absence had cooled his love. Tom Poole was still resident in the spot, but Wordsworth had migrated to the North of England, and Coleridge pined for the congenial society of Wordsworth and his amiable sister. Every walk that he took in or about Stowey reminded him only too forcibly of that glorious summer of 1798 when Wordsworth was sojourning in the vicinity. At last he determined to migrate to Greta Hall, near Keswick, Wordsworth's abode, and finally quitted Stowey in 1800. He did not visit the spot again until 1807. That visit was his last, although the poet lived until 1835. Good Tom Poole passed home in the autumn of 1837, to the lasting sorrow of the denizens of Stowey. Southey died in 1843. Wordsworth was called away seven years later. Nine years before he came to the grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season," Wordsworth visited the old beloved spots for the last time in the flesh. This was in

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1841. "We visited," he subsequently wrote, "all my old haunts in and about Alfoxden and Nether Stowey. These were farewell visits for life, and of

course not a little interesting." The poet was accompanied by his wife and daughter and a few select friends. But she who had in early life trodden these scenes with him, whose counsel and sympathy had been so dear to him— whose many graces and accomplishments are commemorated in his verse

where was she? Lying a sad spectacle both in mind and body at her brother's quiet home in the Lake District. As the venerable seer took his stand for the last time in the romantic glen which had inspired his early muse, as he recalled the past with its sad, sad memories, as he gazed with wistful eye into the trackless, unknown future, what wonder if those solemn lines of a brother bard should have crossed his mind :

Call it not vain. They do not err
Who say that when the poet dies
Mute Nature mourns her worshipper
And celebrates his obsequies;
Who say tall cliff and cavern lone
For the departed bard make moan;
That mountains weep in crystal rill ;
That flowers in tears of balm distil;
Through his loved groves that breezes sigh,
And oaks in deeper groans reply ;
And rivers teach their rushing wave
To murmur dirges round his grave.

-Gentleman's Magazine.





THY days were of the past; none looked to thee
As unto one who hears above the roar

And swell of that slow sea that wastes the shore,
As from afar, a voice of prophecy.

Thy spirit walked in Athens calm and free,

Heard the grave voices of her Academe,

Heard, 'mid the willows by the sacred stream,

The shrill cicala's heaven-taught minstrelsy.

And what of her that standeth steadfast, whole

The high Uranian Athens? Thither we

May follow not, so many waters roll,

So many reaches of the unsounded sea,

Between us and that city of the soul,

Unbuilt with hands, where thou wast glad to be.


Thy days were of the past, yet thou no less
Didst feel the burden of the present hour,
Didst know alike its weakness and its power,
Its all-sufficiency and nothingness.


So didst thou look two ways and bear the stress
Both of the coming and the vanished years;
Thine was our hope that doubts, our faith that fears,
Our thought that, guessing, dare not trust its guess.
Phantasms divine, shadows of things that are".
Thou sawest them, although our day was thine ;
We have the shadows, but that thing divine
We never saw it; of the darkness we,
Thou of the twilight, with the morning star
Bright over purple land and sightless sea.

-Temple Bar.



BEYOND the Beannan is the Bog of the Fairy Maid, and a stoneput further is the knoll where Shudderman Soldier died in the snow. He was a half-wit who was wise enough in one thing, for he knew the heart of a maid. It happened in the poor year, when the glen gathered its corn in boats, and the potato-shaws were black when they burst the ground, and the catechist's horse came home by Dhu-loch side to a widow that reckoned on no empty saddle. And this is the story.

"Ho, ho, suas e!" said the nor' wind, and the snow, and the black frost, as they galloped down Glenara like a leash of strong dogs. It was there was the pretty business! The Salachary hills lost their sink and swell in the great drifts that swirled on them in the night; the dumb white swathes made a cold harvest on the flats of Kilmune; the frost gripped tight at the throats of the burns, and turned the Salmon-leap to a stack of silver lances. A cold world it was, sure enough, at the mouth of day. The bloodshot sun looked over Ben Ime for a moment, and that was the last of him. The sheep lay in the shoulder of the hill with the drift many a crook's-length above them, and the cock-of-the-mountain and the white grouse, driven on the blast, met death

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with a blind shock against the edge of the larch wood.

Up from Lochow, where Kames looks over to Cruachan, and Cruachan cocks his gray cap against Lorn, a foolish lad came that day for a tryst that was made by a wanton maid unthinking. Halfway over the hill he slipped on the edge of a drift, and a sore wound in the side he got against a splinter of the blue stone of the Quey's Rock; but he pushed on, with the blood oozing through his cut vest. Yet, in spite of himself, he slept beyond the Bog of the Fairy Maid. Mo-thruaigh, mothruaigh !* The Fairy Maid came and covered him up close and warm with a white blanket that needs no posting, and sung the soft tune a man hears but once, and kissed him on the beard as he slept in the drift-and his name had been Ellar Ban.

Round by the king's good highroad came Solomon the carrier with his cart, and many a time he thought of turning between Carnis and Kilmune. But he was of the stuff of Clan Coll, and his mare was Proud Maisie. He had a boll of meal from Portinisherrich, from the son of a widow woman who was hungry in Inneraora and waiting for that same.

"No Ellar here yet!" he said at

* Alas, alas!

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