I found this in front of a brownstone in Park Slope. It’s published by Dover, which is good karma, and the print is nice and big. I am finally ready (at the age of 62) for Samuel Taylor! He is so weird! He’s a clergyman; he’s a pagan; he’s a 14-year-old girl. These pieces are semi-improvised; he wasn’t a poet, he was a “freestyle rapper,” 120 years early. My favorite piece, I think, is the Gothic “Lady Geraldine.” He can be as creepy as Poe!
And will your mother pity me,
Who am a maiden most forlorn?
Christabel answered – Woe is me!
She died the hour that I was born.
I have heard the gray-haired friars tell
How on her death-bed she did say,
That she should hear the castle-bell
Strike twelve upon my wedding-day.
[That’s from “Christabel.”] I wonder why Coleridge stopped writing poems, basically, after his youth? It’s a shame. He’s having a lot more fun than Wordsworth or Keats. I guess he was content to invent Romanticism, then go back to writing slightly cracked sermons.