Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
 
Extracts from The Search after Proserpine: Coleridge
By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)
 
    HIS eye saw all things in the symmetry
    Of true and just proportion; and his ear
      That inner tone could hear
    Which flows beneath the outer: therefore he
    Was as a mighty shell, fashioning all        5
The winds to one rich sound, ample and musical.
 
    Yet dim that eye with gazing upon heaven;
    Wearied with vigils, and the frequent birth
      Of tears when turned to earth:
    Therefore, though farthest ken to him was given,        10
    Near things escaped him: through them—as a gem
Diaphanous—he saw; and therefore saw not them.
 
    Moreover, men whom sovereign wisdom teaches
    That God not less in humblest forms abides
      Than those the great veil hides,        15
    Such men a tremor of bright reverence reaches;
    And thus, confronted ever with high things,
Like cherubim they hide their eyes between their wings.
 
    No loftier, purer soul than his hath ever
    With awe revolved the planetary page,        20
      From infancy to age,
    Of Knowledge; sedulous and proud to give her
    The whole of his great heart for her own sake;
For what she is; not what she does, or what can make.
 
    And mighty Voices from afar came to him:        25
    Converse of trumpets held by cloudy forms,
      And speech of choral storms:
    Spirits of night and noontide bent to woo him:
    He stood the while, lonely and desolate
As Adam, when he ruled the world, yet found no mate.        30
 
    His loftiest thoughts were but like palms uplifted,
    Aspiring, yet in supplicating guise;
      His sweetest songs were sighs:
  Adown Lethean streams his spirit drifted,
    Under Elysian shades from poppied bank        35
With Amaranths massed in dark luxuriance dank.
 
    Coleridge, farewell! That great and grave transition
    Which may not Priest, or King, or Conqueror spare,
      And yet a Babe can bear,
    Has come to thee. Through life a goodly vision        40
    Was thine; and time it was thy rest to take.
    Soft be the sound ordained thy sleep to break—
When thou art waking, wake me, for thy Master’s sake!
1839.    
 
 
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