(The Coleridge Bulletin  New Series No 6 (Autumn 1995) , p.59)



Lines Written between Alfoxden and Nether Stowey



In this jackdawed lane beside the ricks and briars

Under Coleridge stars whose blessed orient light

Bluewashed nightmaired lives whose minds to them aspired;

Herein this leaved and guttered path unto a crystal channel leading

Persuades my mind to ancient thoughts,lifts my weathered, tethered heart,

Alloys my wind-thoughts in the black night's starring.

For tracking is the thing that under spotted nights does cut me down

To rest diaphragmatic alemelle;

Breasting now this hill beside the neatherd's nest,

Recumbent here upon Nithera's fell,

I wait the morn, the warm with back into the weathered West

And sighing myself asleep, beneath the sky's canopeum

Address the thoughts that from these words

The heart within my breast cries out "hoc est corpus meum".



Cornelius Peck 1994


["The phrase 'diaphragmatic alemelle' is lifted from Coleridge's Notebooks....The phrase, I seem to remember, was used to refer to a half-waking, fetal position of the body.... I trust this lends the proper romance and not obscurity to the poem." Author's note.]