Original Text: 
Hartley Coleridge, Poems, 2nd edn., 2 vols. (London: Moxon, 1851), II, 295. PR 4467 A2C6 Robarts Library.
1Brief was the reign of pure poetic truth
2A race of thinkers next, with rhymes uncouth,
3And fancies fashion'd in laborious brains,
5Love was their theme, but love that dwelt in stones,
6Or charm'd the stars in their concentric zones;
7Love that did erst the nuptial rites conclude
8'Twixt immaterial form and matter rude;
9Love that was riddled, sphered, transacted, spelt,
10Sublimed, projected, everything but felt.
12They damn'd all loving as a heathen frolic;
13They changed their topic, but in style the same,
14Adored their maker as they wooed their dame.
15Thus Donne, not first, but greatest of the line,
16Of stubborn thoughts a garland thought to twine;
19"Twists iron pokers into true love-knots,"
20Coining hard words, not found in polyglots.


4] wains: waggons. Back to Line
11] orders: religious orders.
cholic: bile. Back to Line
17] cabalistic: esoteric, mysterious, like the Jewish cabala (which uses ciphers to intrepret scripture). Back to Line
18] metempsychosis: the passage of a soul at death into another living thing. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1999.