Constancy To An Ideal Object
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Since all, that beat about in Nature's range,
Or veer or vanish ; why should'st thou remain
The only constant in a world of change,
O yearning THOUGHT ! that liv'st but in the brain ?
Call to the HOURS, that in the distance play,
The faery people of the future day-- --
Fond THOUGHT ! not one of all that shining swarm
Will breathe on thee with life-enkindling breath,
Till when, like strangers shelt'ring from a storm,
Hope and Despair meet in the porch of Death !
Yet still thou haunt'st me ; and though well I see,
She is not thou, and only thou art she,
Still, still as though some dear embodied Good,
Some living Love before my eyes there stood
With answering look a ready ear to lend,
I mourn to thee and say--`Ah ! loveliest Friend !
That this the meed of all my toils might be,
To have a home, an English home, and thee !'
Vain repetition ! Home and Thou are one.
The peacefull'st cot, the moon shall shine upon,
Lulled by the Thrush and wakened by the Lark,
Without thee were but a becalméd Bark,
Whose Helmsman on an Ocean waste and wide
Sits mute and pale his mouldering helm beside.
And art thou nothing ? Such thou art, as when
The woodman winding westward up the glen
At wintry dawn, where o'er the sheep-track's maze
The viewless snow-mist weaves a glist'ning haze,
Sees full before him, gliding without tread,
An image with a glory round its head ;
The enamoured rustic worships its fair hues,
Nor knows he makes the shadow, he pursues !