Remains of Poet Sameul Taylor Coleridge Rediscovered In 17-Century Wine Cellar

The remains of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge have been rediscovered in a 17th-century wine cellar, which is now part of the crypt of a church, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/12/samuel-taylor-coleridge-poet-remains-rediscovered-wine-cellar.

My favourite Coleridge poem is “Kubla Khan” which is reproduced below:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Earlier this evening I came across a blogger (who shall remain nameless), who remains convinced that the British had something to do with the Salisbury poisoning and the Russians are, basically innocent of this horrendous crime. It is tempting to think that some people have been at “the honey-dew” or have been taking something rather stronger than “the milk of paradise”. There loyalty certainly is not to Britain or the democratic system under which we are privileged to live in these islands.

As “The Guardian” states, “The international chemical weapons watchdog has backed the UK’s findings on the identity of the chemical used to poison the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury”. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/12/novichok-used-in-spy-poisoning-chemical-weapons-watchdog-confirms-salisbury

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