By John Spencer Hill
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Extra resources for A Coleridge Companion: An Introduction to the Major Poems and the Biographia Literaria
First, the quarto edition of 1798 had included a six-line coda, so that the original ending of the poem read, Or whether the secret ministery of cold Shall hang them up in silent icicles, Quietly shining to the quiet moon, Like those, my babe! which ere tomorrow's warmth Have capp'd their sharp keen points with pendulous drops, Will catch thine eye, and with their novelty Suspend thy little soul; then make thee shout, And stretch and flutter from thy mother's arms As thou wouldst fly for very eagerness.
James Gillman, whose practice was in Highgate, agreed to take him in as a patient and house-mate - for a month. In fact he was destined to spend the remaining eighteen years of his life in the fair haven of the Gillman household. At Moreton House there was, of course, no miraculous cure; but the Gillmans provided Coleridge with a sympathy, attentive care and profound admiration that restored his self-esteem and his faith in his own potential. Moreover, although Coleridge contrived within a week or two of his arrival to have laudanum smuggled in to him, Gillman managed to regulate his habit sufficiently to enable him Coleddge: a Biographical Sketch 17 to produce a substantial body of work in the following years.
From Augustan local poetry and from Bowles he learned to unite description and meditation in poems rooted firmly in a localised natural setting. From the traditions of English and Continental Neoplatonism he learned to read Nature's mystic book both reverently and analogically, discerning in the external world both the hand of the Creator and subtle correspondences to aspects of his own inner being. Yet Coleridge's poems are unique in their achievement of a conversational seriousness and in their particular synthesis of man and nature, a fusion of self and non-self thatlies at the heart of Coleridge's visionary realism - and effected, through him, much of the tone and substance of the entire Romantic Movement.
A Coleridge Companion: An Introduction to the Major Poems and the Biographia Literaria by John Spencer Hill