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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Hartley Coleridge 1796–1849

To Shakespeare


THE SOUL of man is larger than the sky,

Deeper than ocean or the abysmal dark

Of the unfathom’d centre. Like that Ark

Which in its sacred hold uplifted high,

O’er the drown’d hills, the human family,

And stock reserv’d of every living kind,

So, in the compass of the single mind,

The seeds and pregnant forms in essence lie,

That make all worlds. Great Poet, ’t was thy art

To know thyself, and in thyself to be

Whate’er love, hate, ambition, destiny,

Or the firm, fatal purpose of the heart,

Can make of Man. Yet thou wert still the same,

Serene of thought, unhurt by thy own flame.