Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology

Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
From Constancy to an Ideal Object

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)
SINCE 1 all that beat about in Nature’s range,
Or veer or vanish; why shouldst thou remain
The only constant in a world of change,
O yearning thought! that livest but in the brain?
Call to the hours, that in the distance play,        5
The faery people of the future day—
Fond thought! not one of all that shining swarm
Will breathe on thee with life-enkindling breath,
Till when, like strangers sheltering from a storm,
Hope and Despair meet in the porch of Death!…        10
And art thou nothing? Such thou art, as when
The woodman winding westward up the glen
At wintry dawn, where o’er the sheep-track’s maze
The viewless snow-mist weaves a glistening haze,
Sees full before him, gliding without tread,        15
An image with a glory round its head;
The enamour’d rustic worships its fair hues,
Nor knows he makes the shadow he pursues!
Note 1. Coleridge. Constancy to an ideal object. ‘Sibylline Leaves’. This is the beginning and end. [back]

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