Peter Swaab (ed.), Sara Coleridge: Collected Poems

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Editor’s Note'"How swift is a thought of the mind"'

  •           'How swift is a thought of the mind'
  •                When winged both by Fancy and Love!
  •           Three hundred long miles left behind
  •                The Robin's caressed by the Dove!
  •           But if to bills more within reach
  •                The Robin his faithless beak joins,
  •           Not with kisses, but pecks will she teach,
  •                And this severe penance enjoins.
  •           Whatever gay bird he may see,
  •                Howe'er she his fancy may suit,
  •           No homage of eye must there be,
  •                His flattering tongue must be mute.
  •           He shall not tell the pheasant or jay
  •                How brilliant their plumy attire;
  •           Not a word to the lark shall he say,
  •                But in silence her strains must admire.
  •           He shall not praise the shape of the swan
  •                The most graceful of all waterfowl,
  •           But till six months are over and gone,
  •                Must pass for an old stupid owl!

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Editor’s Note
Page 43. '"How swift is a thought of the mind"' (RB, 1828). Line 3: 'Three hundred long miles', the distance between SC in Keswick and HNC in London.
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