SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE

1

WORDSWORTH wrote Tintern Abbey in 1798 and finished the Intimations of Immortaliy in 1806. In 1802 Coleridge wrote Dejection: An Ode. The three poems are steps in a debate whose fourth step was the quarrel between Wordsworth and Coleridge. For the three poems made plain that Wordsworth and Coleridge at last had no common ground. And the poems point their difference more plainly than any other of Wordsworth's and Coleridge's writings.

At the beginning of Dejection Coleridge sees the New-moon with the old Moon in her lap. He recalls the ballad, and writes,

Well! If the Bard was weather-wise, who made The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence, This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence Unroused by winds.

The homely ease and humour of these lines is Coleridge's nicest gift. Alas, he drops it at once. He reads the signs of storm, and now he finds his stage voice,

And oh! that even now the gust were swelling, And the slant night-shower driving loud and fast!

Those sounds which oft have raised me, whilst they awed, And sent my soul abroad, Might now perhaps their wonted impulse give, Might startle this dull pain, and make it move and live!

-155-

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The Poet's Defence
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword 1
  • Sidney & Shelley 17
  • Philip Sidney 19
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley 57
  • John Dryden 87
  • Wordsworth & Coleridge 127
  • William Wordsworth 129
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge 155
  • Swinburne and His Heirs 185
  • Algernon Charles Swinburne 187
  • Alfred Edward Housman 209
  • William Butler Yeats 229
  • List of Quotations And Index 253
  • Index 257
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