To J.T.C., with Petrarca

These are the workings of a spirit pure,
And high and zealous; one of those elect
Whom the All-wise hath beckon'd from the crowd
Of meaner souls, to set their thrones on high
Among the sons of men. Do thou, my friend,
My Coleridge! spirit zealous, pure, and high!
Accept them, not misdeeming of their worth,
Because the worldly and the sensual slight
Their precious fragrance, all too fine for nerves
Gross and unpurged as theirs. But thou hast walk'd
Among the gardens of true Poesy,
And every nectar-dew that drops at eve,
And every balmy steam that morn exhales,
Hath steep'd thy soul in gladness. Thou wilt love
The laurell'd bard, whether his burning wire,
Touch'd by the sun-beam of reviving Rome,
Ring out, as Memnon's erst, and rouse the sons
Of his own Italy to arms and song:
Or chant his hermit hymn to Heaven and Love,
Soft, yet severe: for Piety had framed
The melody, and every wilder chord
Was temper'd to her solemn undersong.
So Love seem'd what he is,—a spirit devout,
Owning God most in His most beauteous work.
Such shalt thou feel, and such for thee be felt,
My Coleridge! at the appointed hour, if Heaven
Loathe not my daily suit;—for I have tried
And known thee. I have proved thee true and kind,
Wise for the simple, for the wavering firm;
And much it grieves me that in Life's dark maze
So soon our paths shall sever.
Fare thee well!
And as along the lowly vale I wind,
Scale thou untired, yet sometimes making sign
That thou rememberest me, the mountain's height;
And be thy glory as thy virtue! yet,
Yet once again, insatiable of good
For thee and thine, my tide of gratitude
Must flow towards Heaven, for I am nought below
O, Thou All-merciful! Be these my friends
Beneath Thy wing for ever! Visit them
With daily blessings, nightly dreams of bliss!
Be Memory still their comforter, be Hope
Their constant guide; and wise and good men's love
Their stay on earth. Be Thou their rest in heaven!
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