Letters of Hartley Coleridge

By Grace Griggs Evelyn; Earl Griggs Leslie et al. | Go to book overview

into communion; as it was, Derwent left before any complete understanding occurred, not to return until Hartley lay on his death-bed. On the occasion of this visit, Hartley penned the following lines:

'We grappled like two wrestlers, long and hard,
With many a strain and many a wily turn;
The deep divine, the quaint fantastic bard,
From night to night we did the strife adjourn.

The one was stiff as any bending reed
Is stiff with ice, with frosty mail emboss'd,
By nature flaccid as the lank seaweed,
But seeming stanch, by might of brittle frost.

The other, like a pine, was like to yield,
But upward sprang, and heavenward pointed still;
The reed and pine to every blast reveal'd
How weak is wilfulness, how strong is will.

Thou wert the pine, and I, with woeful ruth,
Confess myself the reed: ah! woe is me,
If such be all the banded hosts of Truth,
Of Justice, Freedom and Humanity.'


LETTER 82
To MRS. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, No. 10 Chester Place, Regent's Park, London.

Nab. Feast of Crispian, October 25, 1843.

My dear Mother

Mrs. Richardson received yours yesterday (24th), but there was no sovereign enclosed. I hope it has not been extracted by the way--perhaps you meant, enclosed in the parcel, which I shall acknowledge as soon as it arrives. If we hear nothing, we shall conclude all is right. The letter has no appearance of ever having contain'd coin.

Dear Sara's treatise on Rationalism is a wonder.1 I say not a wonder of a woman's work--where lives the man that could have written it? None in Great Britain since our Father died. Poor Henry was perfectly right in saying that she inherited more of her father, than either of us; and that not only in the amount but in the quality of her powers.

____________________
1
The "'Essay on Rationalism'" formed Appendix C to the second volume of the later editions of the Aids to Reflection.

-267-

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