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

Hartley Coleridge 1796–1849

To the Nautilus


WHERE Ausonian summers glowing

Warm the deep to life and joyance,

And gentle zephyrs, nimbly blowing,

Wanton with the waves that flowing

By many a land of ancient glory,

And many an isle renown’d in story,

Leap along with gladsome buoyance,

There, Marinere,

Dost thou appear

In faery pinnace gaily flashing,

Through the white foam proudly dashing,

The joyous playmate of the buxom breeze,

The fearless fondling of the mighty seas.

Thou the light sail boldly spreadest,

O’er the furrow’d waters gliding,

Thou nor wreck nor foeman dreadest,

Thou nor helm nor compass needest,

While the sun is bright above thee,

While the bounding surges love thee:

In their deepening bosoms hiding

Thou canst not fear,

Small Marinere,

For though the tides with restless motion

Bear thee to the desert ocean,

Far as the ocean stretches to the sky,

’T is all thine own, ’t is all thy empery.

Lame is art, and her endeavor

Follows nature’s course but slowly,

Guessing, toiling, seeking ever,

Still improving, perfect never;

Little Nautilus, thou showest

Deeper wisdom than thou knowest,

Lore, which man should study lowly:

Bold faith and cheer,

Small Marinere,

Are thine within thy pearly dwelling:

Thine, a law of life compelling,

Obedience, perfect, simple, glad and free,

To the great will that animates to sea.