Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
Lines Written in the Album at Elbingerode, in the Hartz Forest
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)
 
I STOOD on Brocken’s 1 sovran height, and saw
Woods crowding upon woods, hills over hills,
A surging scene, and only limited
By the blue distance. Heavily my way
Downward I dragged through fir groves evermore,        5
Where bright green moss heaves in sepulchral forms
Speckled with sunshine; and, but seldom heard,
The sweet bird’s song became an hollow sound:
And the breeze, murmuring indivisibly,
Preserved its solemn murmur most distinct        10
From many a note of many a waterfall,
And the brook’s chatter; ’mid whose islet-stones
The dingy kidling with its tinkling bell
Leaped frolicsome, or old romantic goat
Sat, his white beard slow waving. I moved on        15
In low and languid mood: for I had found
That outward forms, the loftiest, still receive
Their finer influence from the Life within;—
Fair cyphers else: fair, but of import vague
Or unconcerning, where the heart not finds        20
History or prophecy of friend, or child,
Or gentle maid, our first and early love,
Or father, or the venerable name
Of our adored country! O thou Queen,
Thou delegated Deity of Earth,        25
O dear, dear England! how my longing eye
Turned westward, shaping in the steady clouds
Thy sands and high white cliffs!
                            My native Land!
Filled with the thought of thee this heart was proud,
Yea, mine eyes swam with tears: that all the view        30
From sovran Brocken, woods and woody hills,
Floated away, like a departing dream,
Feeble and dim! Stranger, these impulses
Blame thou not lightly; nor will I profane
With hasty judgment or injurious doubt,        35
That man’s sublimer spirit, who can feel
That God is everywhere! the God who framed
Mankind to be one mighty family,
Himself our Father, and the World our Home.
 
Note 1. Brocken: “The highest mountain in Hartz, and indeed in North Germany.” (Coleridge.) [back]
 
 
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