Sara Coleridge’s Marginalia
(The Coleridge Bulletin New Series No 2 (Autumn 1993), pp 5-14)
There exists, in
Coleridge Cottage, a set of the neat, three volume pocket-sized
What follows is a full transcription of Sara Coleridge’s marginalia.
All italic heavy-type words represent marginalia.
Entries are in ink unless otherwise described.
Poems are identified by titles and, where necessary, by first lines.
L.M. = Left Margin;
R.M. = Right Margin;
H. = Header;
F. = Footer.
S.B.S. = Space between Stanzas;
S.B.P. = Space between Poems.
( ? ) before word indicates some doubt about spelling.]
Flyleaf. Signed Ellen Coleridge / -1861- / Edith Coleridge / 1909
page xii. CONTENTS.
Sonnet IV. [“When
British Freedom from a happier land”)
L.M. for (“from” in text crossed out).
Lines in Answer to a Letter from
L.M. Shurton Bars (with line and arrow added).
page 11. Monody on the Death of Chatterton.
“Hence, gloomy thoughts! no more my soul shall dwell”
F. Southey Life vol 1 p 224 (pencil
line to text).
“The wizard passions weave a holy spell!”
F. Collins. The Mariners. An Ode.
page 39 Lines on an Autumnal Evening.[“O Thou wild Fancy, check thy wing! No more”]
“As when the savage, who his drowsy frame”
page 68 SONNET IX.
“Pale Roamer through the night! thou poor Forlorn!
Remorse that man on his death-bed possess,
Who in the credulous hour of tenderness
Betrayed, then cast thee forth to want and scorn!
The world is pitiless: the chaste one’s pride
Mimic of Virtue scowls on thy distress:
Thy Loves and they, that envied thee, deride:
And Vice alone will shelter wretchedness!”
L.M. R.S. (vertical pencil line marking beside text.)
SONNET X. (“Sweet Mercy! no my very heart has bled”)
F. Rough sketch of this sonnet was by Favell
page 80 LINES TO A FRIEND IN ANSWER TO A MELANCHOLY
[“Away, those cloudy looks...”]
“Yon setting sun flashes a mournful gleam
Behind those broken clouds, his stormy train:”
Ode Xlll p.28
F. Non si semel occidit
page 81 “Tomorrow shall the many-coloured main”
page 98 THE DESTINY OF NATIONS
F. First appeared in Sib. Leaves 1817, after its appearance in “Joan of Arc”
page 99 F. “Joan of Arc” was written in the summer of 1793, appeared in 1796.
page 123 ODE TO THE DEPARTING YEAR.
“The insatiate hag shall gloat with drunken eye!”
R.M. Imperial (“insatiate” underlined in text.)
page 181 ON REVISITING THE SEA-SHORE...
H. To bathe me on thy kisses were death
R.M. endless following line
“Ships and waves, and ceaseless motion,”
L.M. life before line
“And men rejoicing on thy shore.”
S.B.S. (?) mildly
said above line
“Dissuading spake the mild physician,”
R.M. sounds following line
“Thoughts sublime, and stately measures,”
F. that love the City’s gilded stye
(All notes on page 181 are in pencil.)
page 203 THIS LIME-TREE BOWER MY PRISON.
(* after “Charles”)
F. * Charles Lamb.
page 205 TO A FRIEND.
“Dear Charles! whilst yet thou wert a babe, I ween” (* after “Charles”)
F. * Charles Lamb.
page 245 ODE TO TRANQUILLITY.
“Thou best the thought canst raise, the heart attune”
L.M. she * (above “Thou” with “Thou” underlined)
R.M. will lift * (“canst raise” underlined)
R.M. * so originally
page 251 SONNET TO THE RIVER OTTER.
“Ah! that once more I were a careless child !”
S.B.P. could I be once more
(“that once more I were” underlined and crossed out)
(page 251) SONNET. COMPOSED ON A JOURNEY HOMEWARD...
“Did’st scream, then spring to meet Heaven’s quick reprieve”
R.M. moan (“scream” underlined)
page 253 EPITAPH ON AN INFANT.
“That here the pretty babe doth lie,”
R.M. a (“the” underlined)
page 256 A CHRISTMAS CAROL. (Stanza Two)
“Around them shone, suspending night!
While sweeter than a mother’s song,
Blest Angels heralded the Saviour’s birth,”
L.M. had shone a (‘A’ of “Around” underlined)
S.B.S. Blest Mother! thou
shalt sing the (linked by line to “While
sweeter than a mother’s” which is crossed out)
S.B.S. The Heavens sang:- Messiah’s (linked by line to “Angels heralded the Saviour’s” which is crossed out)
F. Had shone around, suspending night!
Blest Mother! thou shalt sing the song
The Heavens sang:- Messiah’s birth
Glory & c
[NOTE: The handwriting of the footer marginalia, combining all the corrections of Stanza II, differs from that interspersed in the text.]
page 260 THE VISIT OF THE GODS.
“O fill me the bowl!
Give him the nectar!”
L.M. =# (with further
= mark between two lines quoted)
R.M. / (in pencil after “nectar”)
page 261 ELEGY, IMITATED FROM ONE OF AKENSIDE’S BLANK-VERSE INSCRIPTIONS.
R.M. W 1796
(date reads as though originally written 1895 and overmarked)
page 262 SEPARATION.
“O! Asra, Asra! could thou see”
“The perils, erst
with steadfast eye Encounter’d, now I shrink to see -”
L. M. Cotton
Endpaper (1) A Thought suggested by the view of Saddleback
recto near Threlkeld in
On stern Blencarthur’s perilous height
The winds are tyrannous and strong:
And flashing forth unsteady light
From stern Blencarthur’s skiey height
As loud the torrents throng!
Beneath the Moon in gentle weather
They bind the earth and sky together:
But 0! the Sky and all its forms; how quiet -
The things that seek the Earth how full of noise & riot!
endpaper (1) On William Hastings * *Hazlitt
Under this stone does William Hastings lie,
nought that God or Man could give,
He lived as if he never thought to die,
He died as if he dared not hope to live.
before they die;- twere no bad thing
Did certain persons die before they sing.
P.Ws. Vol II 148
‘A jest’, cries Jack,’ without a sting
Post obitum no man can sing.’
endpaper 2 And true, if Jack don’t mend his manners,
recto And leave his atheistic banners,
Post obitum will /act run foul
Of such sparks as can only howl.
endpaper 2 (Tuesday, September 3, 1799. )
verso I hold of all our vip’rous race
The greedy creeping things in place
Most vile, most venomous; and then
The United Irishmen!
To come on earth should John determine,
Imprimis, we’ll excuse his sermon.
Without a word the good old Dervis
Might work incalculable service;
At once from tyranny and riot
Save laws, lives, liberties, and moneys,
If, sticking to his ancient diet,
He’d but eat up our locusts & wild honeys.
recto This epigram I extracted from the Morning Post, thinking, from internal evidence, it might be S.T.C.’s, The “wild honeys’ is like him.
It is too fantastic for almost anyone else. S.C.
Flyleaf Ellen Coleridge
- 1897 -
page 67 HYMN TO THE EARTH.
“the rivers sang on their channels”
R.M. i (‘o’ of “on” crossed through)
page 69 CATULLAN HENDECASYLLABLES.
“the mighty sailor”: ‘m’ changed to ‘n’ ; ‘I’ before ‘y’.
page 72 WORK WITHOUT HOPE.
“Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build nor sing.”
L.M. pencil line marking this line.
H. all things are busy, only I
Neither bring honey with the bees
Herbert’s Employment p 53.
page 85 THE DEVIL’S THOUGHTS.
“Unfetter a troublesome blade;”
R.M. δ (‘un’ of “unfetter” crossed through)
page 109 ALLEGORIC VISION
* after title.
F. * appeared in The Courier Sat - Aug 31 -1811.
page 132 LOVE’S APPARITION AND EVANISHMENT.
S.B.P. L.. Envoy *
F. * In vain we supplicate the powers above;
There is no resurrection for the Love
That, nurst in tenderest care, yet fades away
page 133 H. In the chill’d heart by gradual self-decay.
page 134 MORNING INVITATION TO A CHILD.
“Dewy meadows enamelled in gold and in green,
With king-cups and daisies, that all the year please,
Sprays, petals and leaflets...”
L.M. pencil line against these lines: “daisies” underlined.
page 142 THE REPROOF AND REPLY.
“The Eighth Commandment was not made for Bards!”
R.M. * after ‘Bards’
F. * “The Eighth Commandment was not made for LOVE.”
Southey’s Poem on stealing Delia’s pocket handkerchief.
page 149 ON BERKELEY AND
“O FRAIL as sweet! twin buds, too rathe to bear”
Brother & Sister of Herbert Coleridge (pencil above line)
page 150 “Had marr’d God’s light within.”
R.M. H.N. Coleridge (in pencil)
page 151 “Gently I took that which ungently came,”
R.M. Spens. 2. Eclog. (in pencil)
page 152 MY BAPTISMAL BIRTH-DAY.
“Make war against me! On my heart I show”
R.M. front (“heart” crossed out)
page 159 REMORSE. Act I Scene 1.
“Alv. I know it well: it is the obscurest haunt of all the mountains...”
R.M. W.W. Excursion.
page 161 Act I Scene 2.
“Ter. Most terrible and strange, and hear him tell them;”
L.M. * (against this line)
H. * Here Valdes bends back, with a smile of wonder at the wildness of the fancy: which
R.M. Teresa perceiving (crossed out & noticing added) she checks her enthusiasm, and in a persuasive half-pleading, half-playful tone and action, exemplifies her meaning in the little tale included in the parenthesis.
page 187 Act II Scene 2.
“Alv. Fare thee well...”
R.M. (aside) O Brother
page 239 APPENDIX
“the late Sir George Beaumont.”
R.M. * (against “
Fortunate in his high Birth, more illustrious by his art, and for his Life
most of all to be revered.-Sir G.H.
page 314 ZAPOLYA Act III Scene 1.
“Sar. And beg forgiveness and a morsel of bread With all the heaviest worldly visitations.”
R.M. (ink lines against these lines)
F. a note of admiration at “morsel of bread! (sic) there should be no stop at all after “visitations” in the next line.
verso Inscription for a Time-piece.
Now!- It is gone. Our brief hours travel post
Each with its thought or deed, its why? or how?-
But know, each parting hour gives up a ghost
To dwell within thee, an eternal Now!
recto From Lessing. By S.T.C.
Thy lapdog, Celia, is a dainty beast,
It don’t surprise me in the least
To see thee lick so dainty clean a beast:-
But that so dainty clean a beast licks thee –
Yes - that surprises me.
Suggested , Mama thought, by Mrs. Leckie’s too great lamentation at the death of a favourite dog.
She vexed her husband, an officer in
endpaper2 have connected his reproof to Mrs. Leckie, or remonstrance,
verso with this epigram, in telling the story to my mother, but he could hardly have applied such lines to the lady herself. Indeed he appears to have shewn the epigram to Cottle on his return from Germany.
Mrs. L. was a nice woman and very kind to my Father. Her husband was provoked at last, by her bursting out a crying every day at dinner time, and this induced my Father to speak.
endpaper 3 Fireside Anacreontic by S.T.C. in a mad mood. This isrecto only a title given by me. S.C.
Come damn(‘damn’ crossed out) it, Girls, don’t let’s be sad,
The bottle stands so handy;
Drink gin, if brandy can’t be had,
But if it can, drink brandy.
And if old aunts, oh! d- their chops,
In scolding vent their phthisick,
Drop in of laudanum thirty drops,
And call it opening physic.‑
For it opens the heart & it opens the brain,
And if you once take it, you’ll take it again,
Oh! Jacky, Jacky, Jacky, Jacky Dandy,
Laudanum’s a great improver of Brandy.
page 157 THE PICCOLOMINI. Act IV Scene 7.
“With hate and dread; and Freidland be redemption”
R.M. watch word (in pencil “redemption” underlined)
page 197 Preface to DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN. “overcome without effect”
R.M. effort? (“effect” underlined in pencil)
Endpaper 157 158
recto watchword held basin
youth my inmate 312
Seni scene - 4th Act of Piccolomini - p.133
(all these notes in pencil, in another hand)
One final note: of all the occasional verses entered in these volumes, Sara’s Fireside Anacreontic was the only one not subsequently published.