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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Ode to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)
 
On the Twenty-fourth Stanza in Her ‘Passage over Mount Gothard’

AND hail the Chapel! hail the Platform wild!
  Where Tell directed the avenging Dart,
With well-strung arm, that first preserved his Child,
  Then aim’d the arrow at the Tyrant’s heart.
 
    Splendor’s fondly fostered child!        5
    And did you hail the platform wild
        Where once the Austrian fell
        Beneath the shaft of Tell?
    O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure!
    Whence learnt you that heroic measure?        10
 
Light as a dream your days their circlets ran;
From all that teaches Brotherhood to Man,
Far, far removed! from want, from hope, from fear.
Enchanting music lulled your infant ear,
Obeisance, praises, soothed your infant heart:        15
  Emblazonments and old ancestral crests,
With many a bright obtrusive form of art,
  Detained your eye from nature’s stately vests
That veiling strove to deck your charms divine;
Rich viands and the pleasurable wine,        20
Where yours unearned by toil; nor could you see
The unenjoying toiler’s misery.
And yet, free Nature’s uncorrupted child,
You hailed the Chapel and the Platform wild,
      Where once the Austrian fell        25
      Beneath the shaft of Tell!
  O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure!
  Where learnt you that heroic measure?
 
  There crowd your finely fibred frame,
    All living faculties of bliss;        30
  And Genius to your cradle came,
  His forehead wreathed with lambent flame,
    And bending low, with godlike kiss
    Breathed in a more celestial life;
  But boasts not many a fair compeer        35
  A heart as sensitive to joy and fear?
 
And some, perchance, might wage an equal strife,
  Some few, to nobler being wrought,
  Co-rivals in the nobler gift of thought.
    Yet these delight to celebrate        40
    Laureled War and plumy State;
    Or in verse and music dress
    Tales of rustic happiness—
  Pernicious Tales! insidious Strains!
    That steel the rich man’s breast,        45
    And mock the lot unblest,
  The sordid vices and the abject pains,
    Which evermore must be
    The doom of Ignorance and Penury!
  But you, free Nature’s uncorrupted child,        50
  You hailed the Chapel and the Platform wild,
    Where once the Austrian fell
    Beneath the shaft of Tell!
  O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure!
  Where learnt you that heroic measure?        55
 
  You were a Mother! That most holy name,
    Which Heaven and Nature bless,
  I may not vilely prostitute to those
    Whose Infants owe them less
  Than the poor Caterpillar owes        60
        Its gaudy Parent Fly.
  You were a Mother! at your bosom fed
    The Babes that loved you. You, with laughing eye,
  Each twilight-thought, each nascent feeling read,
    Which you yourself created. Oh, delight!        65
  A second time to be a Mother,
    Without the Mother’s bitter groans:
  Another thought, and yet another,
    By touch, or taste, by looks or tones,
    O’er the growing Sense to roll,        70
    The Mother of your infant’s Soul!
  The Angel of the Earth, who while he guides
    His chariot-planet round the goal of day,
  All trembling gazes on the Eye of God,
    A moment turned his face away;        75
  And as he viewed you, from his aspect sweet
    New influences in your being rose,
  Blest Intuitions and Communions fleet
    With living Nature, in her joys and woes!
    Thenceforth your soul rejoiced to see        80
    The shrine of social Liberty!
    O beautiful! O Nature’s child!
    ’Twas thence you hailed the Platform wild,
    Where once the Austrian fell
    Beneath the shaft of Tell!        85
  O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure!
  Thence learnt you that heroic measure.
 
 
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