To H. N. COLERIDGE.
Kinsman, Yea--more than kinsman, brother, friend--
O more than Kinsman, more than Friend or Brother
My Sister's Spouse, Son to my widowed mother,
How shall I praise thee right and not offend?
For thou wert sent a sore heart-ill to mend:
Twin-stars were ye--Thou and thy wedded Love
Benign of aspect, as those Imps of Jove
In antique Faith commissioned to portend
To sad sea-wanderers peace. Or like the Tree
By Moses cast into the bitter pool
Which made the tear-salt water fresh and cool--
Or even as Spring, that sets the boon Earth free
Free to be good, exempt from winter's rule
Such hast thou been to our poor family--1
To MRS. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, No. 10 Chester Place, Regent's Park, London.
Grasmere, January 13, 1838.
My dear Mother
It is somewhat late to wish you a happy new-year, and shamefully late to answer your's and Henry's pressing and too kind letters. I shall not, however, occupy half my sheet with unavailing excuses, but simply say that my silence has not been occasioned by asthma, broken-neck, rheumatic- fever, or arrest, and that I have a great-coat, which though not very handsome or fashionable, is quite good enough to wear in the dark, and moreover, I stir very little in bad weather. But now I will answer your questions seriatim. I am in no imminent want of stockings or drawers. The shirts I shall receive most thankfully, though I have quite sufficient change, and Mrs. Richardson is a diligent mender. Four I appropriate to great occasions. I have a good suit of black-- of which I am tolerably careful, and two or three every day Coats and trowzers, which are good enough to sit by the fire in. A kind Lady, Mrs. Greenwood,2 has made me two excellent flannel waistcoats. You must understand that her____________________