The Verse of Coleridge’s ‘Christabel’ [poem by Charles Harpur]

[Editor: This poem by Charles Harpur was published in The Bushrangers; A Play in Five Acts, and Other Poems (1853).]

The Verse of Coleridge’s ‘Christabel.’

Mark yon runnel how ’tis flowing,
Like a sylvan spirit dreaming
Of the Spring-blooms near it blowing
And the sunlight in it gleaming!
Where that shelving rock is spied,
There with a smooth warbling slide
It lapses down into a cool
And brimming, not o’erflowing pool.
Then between its narrow’d banks
Playing mellow gurgling pranks,
It gushes till a channel’d stone
Gives it a more strenuous tone;
Or with an under-swirling spread
Over a wide pebbled bed
It bubbles with a gentle pleasure,
Ere some new mood change the measure:
Such a runnel typeth well
The sweet wild verse of ‘Christabel;’
But what might fitly picture too
The Wonder-World it warbles through?

Charles Harpur, The Bushrangers; A Play in Five Acts, and Other Poems, Sydney: W. R. Piddington, 1853, pages 122-123

Editor’s notes:
Christabel = a poem, produced in two parts (believed to have been written in 1787 and 1800), by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Coleridge = Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), an English poet

ere = before (from the Middle English “er”, itself from the Old English “aer”, meaning early or soon)

runnel = a small stream or brook; brooklet, rivulet, streamlet; small channel; gutter

sylvan = regarding a wood or forest (although often a reference to something living within a wood, referring to person, spirit, or tree)

yon = an abbreviation of “yonder”: at a distance; far away

Old spelling in the original text:
o’erflowing (overflowing)

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