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Short poem

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Inscription for a Fountain on a Heath

              1This Sycamore, oft musical with bees,--
              2Such tents the Patriarchs loved! O long unharmed
              3May all its agèd boughs o'er-canopy
              4The small round basin, which this jutting stone
              5Keeps pure from falling leaves! Long may the Spring,
              6Quietly as a sleeping infant's breath,
              7Send up cold waters to the traveller
              8With soft and even pulse! Nor ever cease
              9Yon tiny cone of sand its soundless dance,
            10Which at the bottom, like a Fairy's Page,
            11As merry and no taller, dances still,
            12Nor wrinkles the smooth surface of the Fount.
            13Here Twilight is and Coolness: here is moss,
            14A soft seat, and a deep and ample shade.
            15Thou may'st toil far and find no second tree.
            16Drink, Pilgrim, here; Here rest! and if thy heart
            17Be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh
            18Thy spirit, listening to some gentle sound,
            19Or passing gale or hum of murmuring bees!


1] Written in 1801 and first published in the Morning Post, September 24, 1802, under the title "Inscription on a jutting stone over a Spring."

9] Cone of sand: "The spring with the little tiny cone of loose sand ever rising & sinking at the bottom, but its surface without a wrinkle. W[illiam] W[ordsworth]. M[ary] H[utchison]. D[orothy] W[ordsworth]. S[ara] H[utchinson]." Notebooks, I, 980, and see note.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Morning Post (Sept. 24, 1802).
First publication date: 24 September 1802
RPO poem editor: Kathleen Coburn, R. S. Woof
RP edition: 3RP 2.465.
Recent editing: 4:2002/3/20

Composition date: 1801
Form: Blank Verse

Other poems by Samuel Taylor Coleridge