And Christmas stories tortured into rhyme
Contain the essence of the true sublime.
Thus, when he tells the tale of Betty Foy,
The idiot mother of "an idiot Boy;"
A moon-struck, silly lad, who lost his way,
And, like his bard, confounded night with day;250
So close on each pathetic part he dwells,
And each adventure so sublimely tells,
That all who view the "idiot in his glory"
Conceive the Bard the hero of the story.
To him who takes a Pixy for a muse,260
Shall gentle Coleridge pass unnoticed here,
To turgid ode and tumid stanza dear?
Though themes of innocence amuse him best,
Yet still Obscurity's a welcome guest.
If Inspiration should her aid refuse
- Mr. W. in his preface labours hard to prove, that prose and verse are much the same; and certainly his precepts and practice are strictly conformable:—
"And thus to Betty's questions he
Made answer, like a traveller bold.
'The cock did crow, to-whoo, to-whoo,
And the sun did shine so cold.'"
Lyrical Ballads, p. 179.
[Compare The Simpliciad, ll. 295-305, and note.]
- "He has not published for some years."—British Bards. [A marginal note in pencil.] [Coleridge's Poems (3rd edit.) appeared in 1803; the first number of The Friend on June 1, 1809.]
- Coleridge's Poems, p. 11, "Songs of the Pixies," i.e. Devonshire Fairies; p. 42, we have "Lines to a Young Lady;" and, p. 52, "Lines to a Young Ass." [Compare The Simpliciad, ll. 211, 213—
"Then in despite of scornful Folly's pother,
Ask him to live with you and hail him brother."]