Poetry, VOLUME 6

Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Three Poems

 
 

LOVE, HOPE, AND PATIENCE IN EDUCATION
S
amuel Taylor Coleridge

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O’er wayward childhood would’st thou hold firm rule,
And sun thee in the light of happy faces;
Love, Hope, and Patience, these must be thy graces,
And in thine own heart let them first keep school.
For as old Atlas on his broad neck places
Heaven’s starry globe, and there sustains it;–so
Do these upbear the little world below
Of Education,–Patience, Love, and Hope.
Methinks, I see them group’d in seemly show,
The straiten’d arms upraised, the palms aslope,
And robes that touching as adown they flow,
Distinctly blend, like snow emboss’d in snow.
 
O part them never! If Hope prostrate lie,
Love too will sink and die.
But Love is subtle, and doth proof derive
From her own life that Hope is yet alive;
And bending o’er, with soul-transfusing eyes,
And the soft murmurs of the mother dove,
Woos back the fleeting spirit, and half supplies;–
Thus Love repays to Hope what Hope first gave to Love.
 
Yet haply there will come a weary day,
When overtask’d at length
Both Love and Hope beneath the load give way.
Then with a statue’s smile, a statue’s strength,
Stands the mute sister, Patience, nothing loth,
And both supporting does the work of both.
 
 

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———
These poems are found in
The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Available as a FREE ebook download in a variety of formats from Project Gutenberg.
 
 





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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com


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