Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 70. From ‘Dejection: an Ode’
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
70. From ‘Dejection: an Ode’
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge  (1772–1834)
    MY genial spirits fail;
    And what can these 1 avail
To lift the smothering weight from off my breast?
    It were a vain endeavour,
    Though I should gaze for ever        5
On that green light that lingers in the west:
I may not hope from outward forms to win
The passion and the life, whose fountains are within.
O Lady! we receive but what we give,
And in our life alone does Nature live:       10
Ours is her wedding garment, ours her shroud!
  And would we aught behold, of higher worth,
Than that inanimate cold world allowed
To the poor loveless ever-anxious crowd,
  Ah! from the soul itself must issue forth       15
A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud
    Enveloping the Earth—
And from the soul itself must there be sent
  A sweet and potent voice, of its own birth,
Of all sweet sounds the life and element!       20

Note 1.  The clouds, the stars, and the moon, at which the poet was gazing. [back]



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