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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

Ode to Tranquillity

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)

TRANQUILLITY! thou better name

Than all the family of Fame!

Thou ne’er will leave my riper age

To low intrigue, or factious rage;

For oh! dear child of thoughtful Truth,

To thee I gave my early youth,

And left the bark, and blest the steadfast shore,

Ere yet the tempest rose and scared me with its roar.

Who late and lingering seeks thy shrine,

On him but seldom, Power divine,

Thy spirit rests. Satiety

And Sloth, poor counterfeits of thee,

Mock the tired worldling. Idle Hope

And dire Remembrance interlope,

To vex the feverish slumbers of the mind:

The bubble floats before, the spectre stalks behind.

But me thy gentle hand will lead

At morning through the accustomed mead:

And in the sultry summer’s heat

Will build me up a mossy seat;

And when the gust of Autumn crowds,

And breaks the busy moonlight clouds,

Thou best the thought canst raise, the heart attune,

Light as the busy clouds, calm as the gliding moon.

The feeling heart, the searching soul,

To thee I dedicate the whole!

And while within myself I trace

The greatness of some future race,

Aloof with hermit-eye I scan

The present works of present man—

A wild and dream-like trade of blood and guile,

Too foolish for a tear, too wicked for a smile!