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All the buds and bells of May
O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
John Keats 172
OR, A VISION IN A DREAM.
N Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Down to a sunless sea.
i The following fragment is here published at the request of a poet of great and deserved celebrity [Lord Byron), and, as
the Author's own opinions are concerned, rather as a psychological curiosity, than on the ground of any supposed poetic merits.
In the summer of the year 1797, the Author, then in ill health, had retired to a lonely farmhouse between Porlock and Linton, on the Exmoor confines of Somerset and Devonshire. In
consequence of a slight indisposition, an anodyne had been prescribed, from the effects of which he fell asleep in his chair at the moment that he was reading the following sentence, or words of the same substance, in Purchas's Pilgrimage: “Here the Khan Kubla commanded a palace to be built, and a stately garden thereunto. And thus ten miles of fertile ground were inclosed with a
The Author continued for about three hours in a profound sleep, at least of the external senses, during which time he has the most vivid confidence, that he could not have composed less than from two to three hundred lines; if that indeed can be called composition in which all the images rose up before him as things, with a parallel production of the correspondent expressions, without any sensation or consciousness of effort. On awaking he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking his pen, ink, and paper, 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, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to his room, found, to his no small surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone has been cast, but, alas! without the after restoration of the latter!
Yet from the still surviving recollections in his mind, the Author has frequently purposed to finish for himself what had been originally, as it were, given to him. Avplov ädcov ảo ô [A sweeter (song) will I sing to. morrow]: but the to-morrow is yet to come.
[From the author's introductory note.]
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
From the fountain and the caves.
A damsel with a dulcimer
Singing of Mount Abora.
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
THE HAUNTED PALACE
N the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Radiant palace-reared its head.
It stood there!
Over fabric half so fair!
Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow
Time long ago),
In that sweet day,
A winged odor went away.