Samuel Taylor Coleridge quotes

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Birthdate: 21. October 1772
Date of death: 25. July 1834

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, literary critic, philosopher and theologian who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He also shared volumes and collaborated with Charles Lamb, Robert Southey, and Charles Lloyd. He wrote the poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as the major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work, especially on William Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. Coleridge coined many familiar words and phrases, including suspension of disbelief. He had a major influence on Ralph Waldo Emerson and American transcendentalism.

Throughout his adult life Coleridge had crippling bouts of anxiety and depression; it has been speculated that he had bipolar disorder, which had not been defined during his lifetime. He was physically unhealthy, which may have stemmed from a bout of rheumatic fever and other childhood illnesses. He was treated for these conditions with laudanum, which fostered a lifelong opium addiction.

Works

Biographia Literaria
Biographia Literaria
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Christabel
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Kubla Khan
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Dejection: An Ode
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Frost at Midnight
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

„Bloom, O ye Amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
For me ye bloom not!“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Source: Work Without Hope (1825), l. 9.
Context: Bloom, O ye Amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll:
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And Hope without an object cannot live.

„Awake,
Voice of sweet song! awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni" (1802)
Context: Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks and secret ecstasy. Awake,
Voice of sweet song! awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn.

„Unchanged within, to see all changed without,
Is a blank lot and hard to bear, no doubt.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Duty Surviving Self-Love (1826)
Context: Unchanged within, to see all changed without,
Is a blank lot and hard to bear, no doubt.
Yet why at others' Wanings should'st thou fret?
Then only might'st thou feel a just regret,
Hadst thou withheld thy love or hid thy light
In selfish forethought of neglect and slight.

„Now Art, used collectively for painting, sculpture, architecture and music, is the mediatress between, and reconciler of, nature and man.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

On Poesy or Art (1818)
Context: Now Art, used collectively for painting, sculpture, architecture and music, is the mediatress between, and reconciler of, nature and man. It is, therefore, the power of humanizing nature, of infusing the thoughts and passions of man into everything which is the object of his contemplation.

„I see, not feel, how beautiful they are!“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Dejection: An Ode

St. 2.
Dejection: An Ode (1802)
Context: Yon crescent Moon, as fixed as if it grew
In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue;
I see them all so excellently fair,
I see, not feel, how beautiful they are!

„A poet ought not to pick nature's pocket: let him borrow, and so borrow as to repay by the very act of borrowing.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

22 September 1830.
Table Talk (1821–1834)
Context: A poet ought not to pick nature's pocket: let him borrow, and so borrow as to repay by the very act of borrowing. Examine nature accurately, but write from recollection; and trust more to your imagination than to your memory.

„Great hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni" (1802)
Context: Solemnly seemest like a vapoury cloud
To rise before me — Rise, oh, ever rise;
Rise like a cloud of incense from the earth!
Thou kingly spirit throned among the hills,
Thou dread ambassador from earth to heaven,
Great hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.

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„Metaphisics is a word that you, my dear Sir! are no great friend to / but yet you will agree, that a great Poet must be, implicitè if not explicitè, a profound Metaphysician.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Letter to William Sotheby (13 July 1802).
Letters
Context: Metaphisics is a word that you, my dear Sir! are no great friend to / but yet you will agree, that a great Poet must be, implicitè if not explicitè, a profound Metaphysician. He may not have it in logical coherence, in his Brain & Tongue; but he must have it by Tact / for all sounds, & all forms of human nature he must have the ear of a wild Arab listening in the silent Desart, the eye of a North American Indian tracing the footsteps of an Enemy upon the Leaves that strew the Forest —; the Touch of a Blind Man feeling the face of a darling Child.

„Those who have been led by the same truths step by step thro' the constant testimony of their senses, seem to me to want a sense which I possess — They contemplate nothing but parts — and are parts are necessarily little — and the Universe to them is but a mass of little things.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Letter to Thomas Poole (16 October 1797).
Letters
Context: From my early reading of Faery Tales, & Genii &c &c — my mind had been habituated to the Vast — & I never regarded my senses in any way as the criteria of my belief. I regulated all my creeds by my conceptions not by my sight — even at that age. Should children be permitted to read Romances, & Relations of Giants & Magicians, & Genii? — I know all that has been said against it; but I have formed my faith in the affirmative. — I know no other way of giving the mind a love of "the Great," & "the Whole." — Those who have been led by the same truths step by step thro' the constant testimony of their senses, seem to me to want a sense which I possess — They contemplate nothing but parts — and are parts are necessarily little — and the Universe to them is but a mass of little things. It is true, the mind may become credulous and prone to superstition by the former method; — but are not the experimentalists credulous even to madness in believing any absurdity, rather than believe the grandest truths, if they have not the testimony of their own senses in their favor? I have known some who have been rationally educated, as it is styled. They were marked by a microscopic acuteness; but when they looked at great things, all became a blank, and they saw nothing, and denied that any thing could be seen, and uniformly put the negative of a power for the possession of a power, and called the want of imagination judgment, and the never being moved to rapture philosophy.

„I am by the law of my nature a reasoner. A person who should suppose I meant by that word, an arguer, would not only not understand me, but would understand the contrary of my meaning.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

1 March 1834.
Table Talk (1821–1834)
Context: I am by the law of my nature a reasoner. A person who should suppose I meant by that word, an arguer, would not only not understand me, but would understand the contrary of my meaning. I can take no interest whatever in hearing or saying any thing merely as a fact — merely as having happened. It must refer to something within me before I can regard it with any curiosity or care. My mind is always energic — I don't mean energetic; I require in every thing what, for lack of another word, I may call propriety, — that is, a reason why the thing is at all, and why it is there or then rather than elsewhere or at another time.

„I worshipped the Invisible alone.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni" (1802)
Context: O dread and silent mount! I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thought : entranced in prayer,
I worshipped the Invisible alone.

„A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan

Kubla Khan (1797 or 1798)
Context: A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

„Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star
In his steep course?“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

St. 1.
"Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni" (1802)
Context: Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star
In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald awful head, О sovran Blanc!

„And in Life's noisiest hour,
There whispers still the ceaseless Love of Thee,
The heart's Self-solace and soliloquy.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

" The Presence of Love http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/stc/Coleridge/poems/Presence_Love.html" (1807), lines 1-4.
Context: p>And in Life's noisiest hour,
There whispers still the ceaseless Love of Thee,
The heart's Self-solace and soliloquy.You mould my Hopes, you fashion me within.</p

„Old Friends burn dim, like lamps in noisome air,
Love them for what they are; nor love them less,
Because to thee they are not what they were.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Duty Surviving Self-Love (1826)
Context: O wiselier then, from feeble yearnings freed,
While, and on whom, thou may'st — shine on! nor heed
Whether the object by reflected light
Return thy radiance or absorb it quite:
And tho' thou notest from thy safe recess
Old Friends burn dim, like lamps in noisome air,
Love them for what they are; nor love them less,
Because to thee they are not what they were.

„In nature there is nothing melancholy.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Nightingale: A Conversation Poem, lines 13-22 (1798).
Context: "Most musical, most melancholy" bird!
A melancholy bird! Oh! idle thought!
In nature there is nothing melancholy.
But some night-wandering man, whose heart was pierced
With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,
Or slow distemper, or neglected love,
(And so, poor wretch! filled all things with himself,
And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale
Of his own sorrow) he, and such as he,
First named these notes a melancholy strain.

„Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And Hope without an object cannot live.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Source: Work Without Hope (1825), l. 9.
Context: Bloom, O ye Amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll:
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And Hope without an object cannot live.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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