This is the beginning of Coleridge's poem, and he's taking us readers on a walk with him. With delicious notes He describes wild grove, Delicious music of those birds, And fancies nightly votive tribute by a lady Actually living hard by as gentle maid. Well— It is a father's tale. Fear of a French invasion was widespread, and the outsiders were suspected of democratic sympathies, even of collusion with the national enemy. The failure was largely relative to early expectations, however, and to hopes defeated by disease and drugs. Stapper, Samuel Taylor Coleridge: A Selective Bibliography of Criticism, 1935-1977 Westport, Conn.
He should not then have dreams like dad's That wake him up in fright. On the Constitution of Church and State appeared in 1830; Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit posthumously in 1840. Sam thought of melancholy, Of sorrow not suited to this song, Of poets diluted by books and balls, Of Nature's eternality, Of how a poem should add to all of Nature's loveliness, And be loved, like Nature itself is loved. You see the glimmer of the stream beneath, But hear no murmuring: it flows silently. This conjunction was where Coleridge staked his claim.
He crafted such a poem. In the course of a solitary walk in the combes near the Bristol Channel in the fall of 1797, Coleridge took two grains of opium for the dysentery which had been bothering him for some time. He came to feel that he was not a poet; not a great poet, at least not like Wordsworth. In the title of s Look, Stranger! The Nightingale By Samuel Taylor Coleridge 17721834 N O cloud, no relique of the sunken day Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues. But twill not be so; And youths and maidens most poetical, Who lose the deepening twilights of the spring In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still Full of meek sympathy must heave their sighs Oer Philomelas pity-pleading strains. It is a father's tale: But if that Heaven Should give me life, his childhood shall grow up Familiar with these songs, that with the night He may associate joy. Part of this feeling must have come from the growing hostility of the community in which he was living.
Experience he always regarded as a matter of whole and integrated response, not of particular sensations. The importance of the organic metaphor and idea for later thinking about poetry can hardly be exaggerated. The lives they were leading on the fringes of conventional society would become the subject of their work. If Nature were to be their muse, and the source of their living values, it would have to be observed in all its sorts and conditions. These included an insistence on sound sense and clear reference in phrase, metaphor, and image: literary embroidery was discouraged. It was here that he learned the language sufficiently to approach the critical philosophy of Immanuel Kant, which consumed his thinking from about 1800. The Nightingale was published in seven other editions but was altered little.
Sometimes, the moon passes behind a cloud, and the nightingales grow quiet, but then it comes out again, and they burst forth into song. For pantheism was associated with the progressive scientific culture for which the empirical world of nature was simply reality itself. Wise, A Bibliography of the Writings in Prose and Verse of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 2 volumes London: Bibliographical Society, 1913. Shawcross Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1907. I send per post my Nightingale; And like an honest bard, dear Wordsworth, You'll tell me what you think, my Bird's worth. From here he continued his attack on the king and his ministers, returning occasionally to Bristol to lecture or walking to Bridgwater to speak at the Unitarian chapel.
Coleridge was drawn to other roles in any case, and to other causes. As such, it is perhaps the case that it is those living in nature that she believes to have a better life, and nature is only greater in its provision of such. The jealous Sara had spilled a pan of boiling milk on his foot, excluding him from the company of Dorothy and William Wordsworth, as well as Charles Lamb, on a jaunt in the surrounding spur of low hills— combes, in local parlance—the Quantocks. Reasons for the divergence are bound to be conjectures after the fact, but two at least remain worth considering. In 1791, Coleridge enrolled in to Jesus College, Cambridge and studied there till 1794 except for a brief period when he went to join Army in 1793.
In 1799, they both met Thomas Hutchinson whose daughter Sara would become his inspiration to write a ballad-poem called Love. If they are significant at all it is because they epitomize his reputation as the truant phantast of romantic legend. And she hath watched Many a nightingale perch giddily On blossomy twig still swinging from the breeze, And to that motion tune his wanton song Like tipsy joy that reels with tossing head. To Coleridge, everything pure and good is found in nature, and nature is a teacher for mankind. In his extensive correspondence of the period Coleridge proclaimed himself a Necessitarian for whom everything had a place in the divine scheme. Other notable creations that became his masterpieces are The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan in addition to his well known prose works Biographia Literaria. The scientific and political culture which had emerged in the 1770s was gaining force among the dissenters, Unitarians in particular, whom Coleridge cultivated in and around Bristol.
You see the glimmer of the stream beneath, But hear no murmuring: it flows silently. His Essays on His Own Times 1850 , collected long after in three volumes, show how serious and capable a critic of society he was. As nature, night will also be a place of joy. Among projects which he undertook during these long years of opium addiction, physical disability, and aimless wandering, The Friend 1809 stands out for its originality and influence. In the exemplary setting of the new life he was undertaking, the claims of enlightenment thinking succumbed to faith. On his way north he tarried in London as political correspondent for the Morning Post, writing a brilliant piece on Pitt, the prime minister, showing what his own convictions counted for. The promotion of his most personal and individualistic work by later readers has obscured his constant attention to social arrangements and social ideals.
And many a poet echoes the conceit; Poet who hath been building up the rhyme When he had better far have stretched his limbs Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell, By sun or moon-light, to the influxes Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song And of his fame forgetful! The conviction of a benevolent nature is compromised by mounting fears. An Historic Drama, act 1 by Coleridge, acts 2 and 3 by Robert Southey Cambridge: Printed by Benjamin Flower for W. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001. A communitarian ideal remained essential to his writing, as to the life he now proposed to live. This idea created a new tradition that was continued by Wordsworth, and there are connections to many later works which include images found within George Dyer's Poetic, John Keats's Ode to a Nightingale, and Leigh Hunt's Imagination or Fancy. Part of this feeling must have come from the growing hostility of the community in which he was living.