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About this Poem 

“Written During a Temporary Blindness in the Year 1799” was published in Poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (C.S. Francis, 1848).

Written During a Temporary Blindness in the Year 1799

O what a life is the eye! what a strange and inscrutable essence!
Him, that is utterly blind, nor glimpses the fire that warms him;
Him that never beheld the swelling breast of his mother;
Him that smiled in his gladness as a babe that smiles in its slumber;
Even for him it exists! It moves and stirs in its prison!
Lives with a separate life: and—“Is it a spirit!” he murmurs:
“Sure, it has thoughts of its own, and to see is only a language!”

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 21, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 21, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a leader of the British Romantic movement, was born on October 21, 1772, in Devonshire, England.

by this poet

poem
Well, they are gone, and here must I remain,
This lime-tree bower my prison! I have lost
Beauties and feelings, such as would have been
Most sweet to my remembrance even when age
Had dimm'd mine eyes to blindness! They, meanwhile,
Friends, whom I never more may meet again,
On springy heath, along the hill-top
poem
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
     And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,
     Beside the ruin'd tower.

The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene,
Had
poem

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