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

Love, Hope, and Patience in Education

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)

O’ER wayward childhood would’st thou hold firm rule,

And sun thee in the light of happy faces;

Love, Hope, and Patience, these must be thy graces,

And in thine own heart let them first keep school.

For as old Atlas on his broad neck places

Heaven’s starry globe, and there sustains it;—so

Do these upbear the little world below

Of Education,—Patience, Love, and Hope.

Methinks, I see them grouped in seemly show,

The straiten’d arms upraised, the palms aslope,

And robes that touching as adown they flow,

Distinctly blend, like snow emboss’d in snow.

O part them never! If Hope prostrate lie,

Love too will sink and die.

But Love is subtle, and doth proof derive

From her own life that Hope is yet alive;

And bending o’er with soul-transfusing eyes,

And the soft murmurs of the mother dove,

Wooes back the fleeting spirit, and half supplies;—

Thus Love repays to Hope what Hope first gave to Love.

Yet haply there will come a weary day,

When overtasked at length

Both Love and Hope beneath the load give way.

Then with a statue’s smile, a statue’s strength,

Stands the mute sister, Patience, nothing loth,

And both supporting does the work of both.