BACK TO CAMBRIDGE AND BEYOND Malcolm Guite From Mariner, Chapter Three …when the holidays began and he set off from Cambridge in mid-June, not for home, but on a walking tour of England and Wales with a fellow undergraduate, there was a sense of the bird ﬂying free from the cage and new adventures beginning. […]
LETTER TO GEORGE COLERIDGE Samuel Taylor Coleridge 23 February 1794 I became a proverb to the University for Idleness—the time, which I should have bestowed on the academic studies, I employed in dreaming out wild schemes of impossible extrication. It had been better for me, if my Imagination had been less vivid—I could not with […]
LETTER TO GEORGE COLERIDGE Samuel Taylor Coleridge 23 February 1794 Sweet in the sight of God and celestial Spirits are the tears of Penitence—the pearls of heaven—the Wine of Angels! Such has been the language of Divines— but Divines have exaggerated.—Repentance may bestow that tranquillity, which will enable man to pursue a course of undeviating […]
LETTER TO GEORGE COLERIDGE Samuel Taylor Coleridge 30 March 1794 I long ago theoretically and in a less degree experimentally knew the necessity of Faith in order to regulate Virtues—nor did I ever seriously disbelieve the existence of a future State—In short, my religious Creed bore and perhaps bears a correspondence with my mind and […]
THE ODE Samuel Taylor Coleridge From the translation by J.C.C. May in Poetical Works O ye who revel in the ills of Slavery, O feeders on the groans of the wretched, insolent sons of Excess, shedders of own brothers’ blood, does not the inescapable Eye see these things? Does not Nemesis threaten ﬁre-breathing reprisal? Do […]
THE GENTLEMAN’S MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 1834 Charles Valentine Le Grice Of Christ’s Hospital and Trinity College, Cambridge What evenings I have spent in those rooms! . . . when Aeschylus, and Plato, and Thucydides were pushed aside, with a pile of lexicons etc, to discuss the pamphlets of the day. Ever and anon, a pamphlet issued […]
THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER Samuel Taylor Coleridge The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared, Merrily did we drop Below the kirk, below the hill, Below the lighthouse top. Lines 21–24 This week we read Chapter One and began to see remarkable parallels in the Ancient Mariner’s journey with Coleridge’s own. In the poem, […]
CHRIST’S HOSPITAL FIVE-AND-THIRTY YEARS AGO Charles Lamb Come back into memory, like as thou wert in the dayspring of thy fancies, with hope like a ﬁery column before thee—the dark pillar not yet turned—Samuel Taylor Coleridge—Logician, Metaphysician, Bard—How have I seen the casual passer through the cloisters stand still, intranced with admiration (while he the […]
THE PRELUDE William Wordsworth I speak to thee, my Friend! to thee, Who, yet a liveried schoolboy, in the depths Of the huge city, on the leaded roof Of that wide ediﬁce, thy school and home, Wert used to lie and gaze upon the clouds Moving in heaven; or, of that pleasure tired, To shut […]
FROST AT MIDNIGHT Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Frost performs its secret ministry, Unhelped 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 […]
THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER Samuel Taylor Coleridge The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared, Merrily did we drop Below the kirk, below the hill, Below the lighthouse top. Lines 21–24 Today we begin the first of two parts into which Malcolm Guite’s book Mariner is divided. The Prelude examines the foreground of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s life which […]
ARCAEOLOGIAE PHILOSOPHICAE Epigraph I readily believe that there are more invisible beings in the universe than visible. But who will declare to us the nature of all these, the rank, relationships, distinguishing characteristics and qualities of each? What is it they do? Where is it they dwell? Always the human intellect circles around the knowledge of […]
BIOGRAPHIA LITERARIA Samuel Taylor Coleridge They and only they can acquire the philosophic imagination, the sacred power of self-intuition, who within themselves can interpret and understand the symbol, that the wings of the air-sylph are forming within the skin of the caterpillar; those only, who feel in their own spirits the same instinct, which impels […]
THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER Samuel Taylor Coleridge Part I It is an ancient Mariner, And he stoppeth one of three. ‘By thy long grey beard and glittering eye, Now wherefore stopp’st thou me? The Bridegroom’s doors are opened wide, And I am next of kin; The guests are met, the feast is set: […]
This weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and with it also brings the grand tradition of what has come to be called “beach reading.” This year we’ll celebrate the season with author Malcolm Guite as he guides us through the life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge through his wonderful book Mariner.
A personal welcome from Malcolm Guite.
Ere on my bed my limbs I lay, It hath not been my use to pray With moving lips or bended knees; But silently, by slow degrees, My spirit I to Love compose, In humble trust mine eye-lids close, With reverential resignation No wish conceived, no thought exprest, Only a sense of supplication; A sense […]
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
From Endymion by John Keats
I travell’d on, seeing the hill, where lay My expectation. A long it was and weary way. The gloomy cave of Desperation I left on th’ one, and on the other side The rock of Pride. And so I came to fancy’s meadow strow’d With many a flower: Fain would I here have made abode, […]
When Wolfe died, William Faulkner said he was the greatest writer of their time.