John Moultrie (1799-1874)

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To the Anonymous Editor of Coleridge's Letters and Conversations

A gibbering ape that leads an elephant;
A dwarf deformed, the presence heralding
Of potent wizard, or the Elfin King;
Caliban, deigning sage advice to grant
To mighty Prosper in some hour of want;
Sweet bully Bottom, while the fairies sing,
Braying applause to their rich carolling,
But feebly typify thy flippant cant,
Stupid defamer, who for many a year
With earth's profoundest teacher wast at school
And, notwithstanding, does at last appear
A brainless, heartless, faithless, hopeless fool.
Come, take thy cap and bells, and throne thee here,
Conspicuous on the dunce's loftiest stool.


The hand of Death lay heavy on her eyes,--
For weeks and weeks her vision had not borne
To meet the tenderest light of eve or morn,
To see the crescent moonbeam set or rise,
Or palest twilight creep across the skies:
She lay in darkness, seemingly forlorn,
With sharp and ceaseless anguish rack'd and torn,
Yet calm with that one peace which never dies.
Closed was, for her, the gate of visual sense,
This world and all its beauty lost in night;
But the pure soul was all ablaze with light,
And through that gloom she saw, with gaze intense,
Celestial glories, hid from fleshly sight,
And heard angelic voices call her hence.

(Text of sonnet above from The Book of Sorrow)