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

Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
From Piccolomini

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)
O NEVER 1 rudely will I blame his faith
In the might of stars and angels! ’Tis not merely
The human being’s pride that peoples space
With life and mystical predominance;
Since likewise for the stricken heart of Love        5
This visible nature, and this common world
Is all too narrow …
For fable is Love’s world, his home, his birthplace:
Delightedly dwells he mong fays and talismans,
And spirits; and delightedly believes        10
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 their haunts in dale or piny mountain        15
Or forest, by slow stream or pebbly spring
Or chasms and watery 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;        20
And to yon starry world they now are gone,
Spirits or gods, that used to share this earth
With man as with their friend …
Note 1. S. T. Coleridge. From his ‘Piccolomini’, ii. 4. The latter part of this passage is a poetic expansion of Schiller’s original lines. I have put the comma after forest in line 16. [back]

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