Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, October 01, 1884, Page 5, Image 5
THE HESPERIAN STUDENT. 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 left." 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 know! 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. '