Love's Apparition and Evanishment: An Allegoric Romance

Original Text: 
The poetical works of S.T. Coleridge, ed. Henry Nelson Coleridge (London : W. Pickering, 1834). PR 4470 E34 VICT Rare Books.
2Some caravan had left behind,
3Who sits beside a ruin'd well,
4Where the shy sand-asps bask and swell;
5And now he hangs his agèd head aslant,
6And listens for a human sound--in vain!
7And now the aid, which Heaven alone can grant,
8Upturns his eyeless face from Heaven to gain;--
9Even thus, in vacant mood, one sultry hour,
10Resting my eye upon a drooping plant,
11With brow low-bent, within my garden-bower,
13And--whether 'twas a transient sleep, perchance,
14Flitted across the idle brain, the while
15I watch'd the sickly calm with aimless scope,
16In my own heart; or that, indeed a trance,
17Turn'd my eye inward--thee, O genial Hope,
18Love's elder sister! thee did I behold
19Drest as a bridesmaid, but all pale and cold,
20With roseless cheek, all pale and cold and dim,
21      Lie lifeless at my feet!
22And then came Love, a sylph in bridal trim,
23      And stood beside my seat;
24She bent, and kiss'd her sister's lips,
25      As she was wont to do;--
26Alas! 'twas but a chilling breath
27Woke just enough of life in death
28      To make Hope die anew.


1] First published in Friendship's Offering for 1834, signed "S. T. Coleridge, August 1833." Back to Line
12] couch of camomile: a seat of sods and camomile with its starry flowers, built by Coleridge in 1801, a personal reference, linked also by a stanza in the first version of Dejection, to Sara Hutchinson. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Kathleen Coburn; R. S. Woof
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.473.