Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, October 01, 1884, Page 5, Image 5

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Wordsworth and Coleridge. Through them Philosophy
was spiritualized. Every object in Nature possessed a
hidden meaning. Thus wo have in tho latter part of tho
eighteenth century, a reflective and ponsivo poetry.
Coleridge, of profounder learning, had adopted tho
German Bystom of metaphysics as foundcd.by Kant. Tho
vexed problem "how did things havo a beginning?"
and "whither arc wo bound?" had boon long in solving.
Coleridge had powors fully adequate to tho task, a vig.
orous and comprehensive intollect, originality, and more
than all, a piercing insight into tho depths of tho human
soul. The object of his inquiry was to search out princi
ples, and ho succeeded; for, as a poet has said, "as on
some starless sea, all dark above, all dark below yet on
ward as ho drove, he seemed to plough up light that over
round him streamed." But in what is left to us wo have
only a-hint of what ho might have accomplished, had ho
possessed sufficiently rcsoluto will to concentrate and di
rect his varied powers. Coleridge's influence on modern
thought ha3 been great but will be felt st'U more in the
centuries that are to come. That he changed its tenden
cies from groveling earth to heaven and helped to estab
lish a natural poetry are to two reasons for which his
memory should bo exalted.
His love of a Higher Being was the benign influence
which shed such cheerful rays upon his pathway. It gavo
a now significance to life ; to Naturo, a voiceless melody
a chant in praise of the Creator.
Tito true critic muat bo perfect master of tho work
he attempts to examine. Many of the so-called critics of
tho last century passed their judgement on men whom
they did not understand. But Coleridge was the most dis
criminating judge of his day. Ho villlngly acknowl
tedged the excellences of an author while pointing out his
faults. His treatment of Shakspcare was abler and bet
ter than any that has been given. Those who had "lain
in wait against his soul" discovered that they could cf
cfect but little. The thrusts of an inferior cannot injure
a vcritablo genius.
He was not unaffected by tho Romance movement, but
blended the surprising, strange, and wonderful with mys
tery and eternal Truth. Tho Poets mind dwelt ever in
the Beyond apart from tho world of sense. This char
acteri8tic is clearly observed in tho "Ancient Mariner," a
poem perfect in form and plan, which once rend, refuses
to bo forgotten. It is a divine song and full of weird and
sombre thought; cherished because its influence cannot
bo resisted. The laws of benevolenco had been violated
and tho feelings and emotionB of tho Mariner were so
blended with the surrounding sconery that all Naturo
seemed awry.
Tho reform hi poetry had brought many advantages with
it. No more words were used than wiro necessary to the
full expression of tho meaning. Tills excellent quality is
displayed in Christabol." I ho fragment is not the less
powerful because it is no part of tho symmetrical whole.
We shudder for the fate of "Christabel ;" Good is in dan.
ger of being overpowered by Evil. The poem is fancfiul
and of superstitious impresslvenesa. Whut a spell wo
feel cast around us ! Hero certainly is richness, lulluess,
harmony I Coloridgo combined unlimited Imagination
With great command of language and deep feeling. Each
word is a picture In iUolf. This suggestivauess is hiB
crowning gift. As Byron, he is tho poet of his own soul,
la its sufferings as woll as In its joyful movement.
In accordance with tho spirit of his age, which
prompted not to further progress after groat accomplish
ments, but to calm retrospect of what had been attained;
Coleridge after traversing all fields of knowledge and es
pecially investigating every systom of Philosophy, com
municated to admiring worshipers what he had
acquired. All the stores of learning, ancient and modern
wero unfolded showing, tho extensive research and brill
iant scholarship of the possessor. Before the hearer 's men
tal vision a glorious panorama stretched, dotted by the
suu-lit spots of fancy and the harvest of ripened thought,
while above all pealed tho music of his voice. Entranced
they listen ; none so willing to hear as they he, ready to
impart. Tho mellow tones have long been silent, but the
pleasant remembrances linger still. Colcrldgo's mental
stature may bo approximately estimated, when wo learn
that such men as Wordsworth, Southuy and Lamb re
garded him as their superior.
How greatly is it to bo regretted that a blot should ap
pear upon tho fair name of a man of genius, that bis later
days should be spent in gloom, caused by his own weak
ness. Tho opium fiend had seized his aoul and would
not be shaken off.
If suffering can atone for wrong, Coleridge mado repa
ration. The dark side of the pillar is turned; but who mourns
is not as one bereft of all ho loved: thy living Truths aro
The 8. of G. H. is a thing f tho past.
Only two pronounced democrat in college.
Dave Forsyth will not bo with his class this year. "
Professors Hicks and Nicholson are both away en do
mestic affuirs and the ScicntificB aro taking a siesta.
The first meeting of tho Union Literary society was
woll attended, and the programme was one of tho best.
Our old friend and the University's champion, John
Dryden, paid us a visit last week with a new style of
beard. Glad to sea you, John.
The "Boarding Club" is n decided success, and if you
don't believe it, just ask some ono that has visited it, but
don't go yourself. "Aren't at home," to vlsilors, you
By call of the Chancellor, the Freshman class met and
elected O. B. Polk temporary chairman. A committee
was appointed to form a constitution. Meeting adjourn
ed till three-thirty of the 16th.
The Registrar rcpor's over two-hundred as registered;
and while a few register each day there are yet many who
have not attended to this matter. Certainly all under
stand that it is necessary, so why this confusion, ihis
loss of time?
Tho Freshmau class as usual appeared in the chapel
with canes. Sparks of delight filled the Sophmor.cs eyes
as thoy caught the first glimpse of the canes at the door,
but when the barbed wire brigade entered, their head
hung like a senior's, when caught in a watermelon patch
At tho close of chapel, the Soph's made up their mind t
wns the wrong time of the moon to dispute the Frash
mans right to carry canes. '