In The Manner Of Spenser

Poem By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

O peace, that on a lilied bank dost love
To rest thine head beneath an olive tree,
I would that from the pinions of thy dove
One quill withouten pain yplucked might be!
For oh! I wish my Sara's frowns to flee,
And faint to her some soothing song would write,
Lest she resent my rude discourtesy,
Who vowed to meet her ere the morning light,
But broke my plighted word -- ah! false and recreant wight.

Last night as I my weary head did pillow
With thoughts of my dissevered fair engrossed,
Chill fancy drooped, wreathing herself with willow,
As tho' my breast entombed a pining ghost.
'From some blest couch, young rapture's bridal boast,
Rejected slumber! hither wing thy way;
But leave me with the matin hour, at most!'
As night-closed floweret to the orient ray,
My sad heart will expand, when I the maid survey.

But Love, who 'heard the silence of my thought,'
Contrived a too successful wile, I ween:
And whispered to himself, with malice fraught--
'Too long our slave the damsel's smiles hath seen:
To-morrow shall he ken her altered mien!'
He spake, and ambushed lay, till on my bed
The morning shot her dewy glances keen,
When as I 'gan uplift my drowsy head--
'Now, bard! I'll work thee woe!' the laughing elfin said.

Sleep, softly-breathing god! his downy wing
Was fluttering now, as quickly to depart;
When twanged an arrow from Love's mystic string,
With pathless wound it pierced him to the heart.
Was there some magic in the elfin's dart?
Or did he strike my couch with wizard lance?
For straight so fair a form did upwards start
(No fairer deck'd the bowers of old romance)
That sleep enamoured grew, nor moved from his sweet trance!

My Sara came, with gentlest look divine;
Bright shone her eye, yet tender was its beam
I felt the pressure of her lip to mine!
Whisp'ring we went, and love was all our theme--
Love pure and spotless, as at first, I deem,
He sprang from heaven! Such joys with sleep did 'bide
That I the living image of my dream
Fondly forgot. Too late I woke, and sighed --
'O! how shall I behold my love at even-tide!'

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