The Visionary Hope

Sad lot, to have no Hope! Though lowly kneeling
He fain would frame a prayer within his breast,
Would fain entreat for some sweet breath of healing,
That his sick body might have ease and rest;
He strove in vain! the dull sighs from his chest
Against his will the stifling load revealing,
Though Nature forced; though like some captive guest,
Some royal prisoner at his conqueror's feast,
An alien's restless mood but half concealing,
The sternness on his gentle brow confessed,
Sickness within and miserable feeling:
Though obscure pangs made curses of his dreams,
And dreaded sleep, each night repelled in vain,
Each night was scattered by its own loud screams:
Yet never could his heart command, though fain,
One deep full wish to be no more in pain.
That Hope, which was his inward bliss and boast,
Which waned and died, yet ever near him stood,
Though changed in nature, wander where he would--
For Love's Despair is but Hope's pining Ghost!
For this one hope he makes his hourly moan,
He wishes and can wish for this alone!
Pierced, as with light from Heaven, before its gleams
(So the love-stricken visionary deems)
Disease would vanish, like a summer shower,
Whose dews fling sunshine from the noon-tide bower!
Or let it stay! yet this one Hope should give
Such strength that he would bless his pains and live.

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Comments (4)

This is brilliant Mike. I think you have chosen an ideal object to illustrate the subject. I like they way that you avoid simpering nostalgia and just lay your cards on the table. The struicture is excellent. A real enjoyable and intelligent piece.
Dear Michael, Yes, all things seem to change over time, even the great classics of which your subject is definitely one! You can find a couple in Atlanta, GA now doing tours, but they are not part of the mass transit system, alas! Wonderful writing (as usual!) Best regards, Hugh
A great tour de force Michael. An ode to a design classic, conceived in the minds of war veterans allowing the driver/pilot to concentrate on getting to the destination/target while the conductor/bombardier concentrated on the welfare and safe delivery of the volatile cargo.
Ye gods. I never thought I'd enjoy reading an ode to a bus. Loved it. (They were easy for fare-avoidance, too, I am reliably informed.)