Wide World of Quotes > Samuel Taylor Coleridge Quotes


Samuel Taylor Coleridge
English poet, critic and philosopher
(1772-1834)



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It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
" By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me? "
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

He holds him with his glittering eye--
The Wedding-Guest stood still.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

"God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends that plague thee thus! --
Why look'st thou so?" -- With my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out:
At one stride comes the dark.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

"I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand!
And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand."
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide, wide sea!
And never a soul took pity on
My soul in agony.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

Oh! Sleep it is a gentle thing
Beloved from pole to pole,
To Mary Queen the praise be given!
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
That slid into my soul.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

Then like a pawing horse let go,
She made a sudden bound.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn;
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn.
-- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798)

And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin
Is pride that apes humility.
-- "The Devil's Thoughts" (1799)

The frost performs its secret ministry
Unhelped by any wind.
-- "Frost at Midnight" (1798)

From his brimstone bed at break of day
A walking the Devil is gone,
To visit his snug little farm the Earth,
And see how his stock goes on.
-- "The Devil's Thoughts" (1799)

But oh! each visitation
Suspends what nature gave me at my birth,
My shaping spirit of imagination.
-- "Dejection: an Ode" (1802)

On awaking he ... instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved. At this moment he was unfortunately called out by a person on business from Porlock.
-- "Kubla Khan" (1816), preliminary note

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
-- "Kubla Khan" (1816)

A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon lover.
-- "Kubla Khan" (1816)

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
-- "Kubla Khan" (1816)

And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
-- "Kubla Khan" (1816)

Alas! they had been friends in youth;
But whispering tongues can poison truth.
-- "Christabel" (1816)

Until you understand a writer's, presume yourself ignorant of his understanding.
-- Biographia Literaria (1817)

No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher.
-- Biographia Literaria (1817)

That willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith.
-- Biographia Literaria (1817)

To see him act, is like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning.
-- Of Edmund Kean. In: Table Talk (1835)

Shakespeare ... is of no age -- nor of any religion, or party or profession. The body and substance of his works came out of the unfathomable depths of his own oceanic mind.
-- Table Talk (1835)

Reviewers are usually people who would have been poets, historians, biographers, etc., if they could; they have tried their talents at one or at the other, and have failed; therefore they turn critics.
-- Seven Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton (delivered 1811-12; published 1856)

The innumerable multitude of Wrongs
By man on man inflicted.
-- Religious Musings


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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