Friday, 26 February 2016
When Want and cold Neglect had chill’d thy soul,
Athirst for Death I see thee drench the bowl!
Thy corpse of many a livid hue
On the bare ground I view,
Whilst various passions all my mind engage;
Now is my breast distended with a sigh,
And now a flash of Rage
Darts through the tear, that glistens in my eye
(Monody on the death of Chatterton by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous boy,
The sleepless soul that perished in his pride;
Of him who walked in glory and in joy
Following his plough, along the mountain side:
By our own spirits are we deified:
We poets in our youth begin in gladness;
But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.
O CHATTERTON! how very sad thy fate!
Dear child of sorrow – son of misery!
How soon the film of death obscur’d that eye,
Whence Genius mildly flash’d, and high debate.
How soon that voice, majestic and elate,
Melted in dying numbers! Oh! how nigh
Was night to thy fair morning. Thou didst die
A half-blown flow’ret which cold blasts amate.
But this is past: thou art among the stars
Of highest Heaven: to the rolling spheres
Thou sweetly singest: naught thy hymning mars,
Above the ingrate world and human fears.
On earth the good man base detraction bars
From thy fair name, and waters it with tears.
(Sonnet to Chatterton by John Keats)