As late I journey’d o’er the extensive plain
Where native Otter sports his scanty stream,
Musing in torpid woe a Sister’s pain,
The glorious prospect woke me from the dream.
At every step it widen’d to my sight –
Wood, Meadow, verdant Hill, and dreary Steep,
Following in quick succession of delight, –
Till all – at once – did my eye ravish’d sweep!
May this (I cried) my course through Life portray!
New scenes of Wisdom may each step display,
And Knowledge open as my days advance!
Till what time Death shall pour the undarken’d ray,
My eye shall dart thro’ infinite expanse,
And thought suspended lie in Rapture’s blissful trance.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, literary critic, philosopher and theologian who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He wrote the poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as the major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work, especially on William Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. Coleridge coined many familiar words and phrases, including suspension of disbelief. He had a major influence on Ralph Waldo Emerson and on American transcendentalism.