Influence of Natural Objects in Calling Forth and Strengthening the Imagination in Boyhood and Early Youth

Original Text: 
S. T. Coleridge, The Friend: a literary, moral, and political weekly paper (Dec. 28, 1809). PR 4480 F7 1809 Victoria College Library (Toronto).
1  Wisdom and Spirit of the universe!
2Thou Soul, that art the Eternity of thought!
3And giv'st to forms and images a breath
4And everlasting motion! not in vain,
5By day or star-light, thus from my first dawn
6Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me
7The passions that build up our human soul;
8Not with the mean and vulgar works of Man;
9But with high objects, with enduring things,
10With life and nature; purifying thus
11The elements of feeling and of thought,
12And sanctifying by such discipline
13Both pain and fear,--until we recognise
14A grandeur in the beatings of the heart.
15      Nor was this fellowship vouchsafed to me
16With stinted kindness. In November days,
17When vapours rolling down the valleys made
18A lonely scene more lonesome; among woods
19At noon; and 'mid the calm of summer nights,
20When, by the margin of the trembling lake,
21Beneath the gloomy hills, homeward I went
22In solitude, such intercourse was mine:
23Mine was it in the fields both day and night,
24And by the waters, all the summer long.
25And in the frosty season, when the sun
26Was set, and, visible for many a mile,
27The cottage-windows through the twilight blazed,
28I heeded not the summons: happy time
29It was indeed for all of us; for me
30It was a time of rapture! Clear and loud
31The village-clock tolled six--I wheeled about,
32Proud and exulting like an untired horse
33That cares not for his home.--All shod with steel
34We hissed along the polished ice, in games
35Confederate, imitative of the chase
36And woodland pleasures,--the resounding horn,
37The pack loud-chiming, and the hunted hare.
38So through the darkness and the cold we flew,
39And not a voice was idle; with the din
40Smitten, the precipices rang aloud;
41The leafless trees and every icy crag
42Tinkled like iron; while far-distant hills
43Into the tumult sent an alien sound
44Of melancholy, not unnoticed while the stars,
45Eastward, were sparkling clear, and in the west
46The orange sky of evening died away.
47      Not seldom from the uproar I retired
48Into a silent bay, or sportively
49Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng,
50To cut across the reflex of a star;
51Image, that, flying still before me, gleamed
52Upon the glassy plain: and oftentimes,
53When we had given our bodies to the wind,
54And all the shadowy banks on either side
55Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still
56The rapid line of motion, then at once
57Have I, reclining back upon my heels,
58Stopped short; yet still the solitary cliffs
59Wheeled by me--even as if the earth had rolled
60With visible motion her diurnal round!
61Behind me did they stretch in solemn train,
62Feebler and feebler, and I stood and watched
63Till all was tranquil as a summer sea.
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
J. D. Robins
RPO Edition: 
2RP 2.30.