207. To Robert Southey [Addressed by Charles Lloyd] Mr. Robert Southey | No 8 West-Gate buildings | Bath MS. Lord Latymer. Hitherto unpublished. A letter from Charles Lloyd to Southey occupies pages 1 and 2 of the manuscript, Coleridge's letter pages 8 and 4. It was at this time that Coleridge must have met Tom Wedgwood, who was to play so great a part in his life. Stamped: Bridgewater. [ 15 September 1797] 3 Dear Southey That little poem4 is to me the most affecting of all your little pieces -- I beseech you, do not alter the latter part -- the line & a half that disrobes, The Earth of all it's bright, day-borrow'd hues -- ____________________ 1 The Bristol fair was held for eight days, beginning 1 Sept. 2 James Webbe Tobin, a Bristol friend of both Coleridge and Wordsworth. He later settled in London. He is not to be confused with his brother, John Tobin, the dramatist, who left Bristol in 1787, and whom Coleridge first mentions in 1803. See Letter 499-A. 3 There is nothing in Coleridge's letter to suggest when it was written but Lloyd's letter affords a clue: N. Stowey Friday morning Dear Southey I went yesterday over to Wordsworth's with the hope of hearing the remaining acts of his tragedy, but was disappointed in finding him ill & [See p. 346 for note 4.] -345- says nothing more than 'that discolouring shade' and is an anticlimax to two, the most pleasing lines, I recollect any where -'day-borrow'd['] -- I do not like independent of this objection -- it is [a wo]rd not 'in keeping' with the other part. [H]omewardly & heaven ward -- come rather too close together, for a fastidious ear. -- The lines 'nor could her heart' -- down to -- [']insolent pity.' -are so common-place & say so little that has not been said in the same language before, that I cannot but think that the poem would be better without them. What follows is altogether exquisite -- very, very pathetic --/ but the idea of the infant's ingratitude would be more forcible, if the infant's age were definitely introduced, any where in the poem -- & the phrase 'became indifferent to her' -is ambiguous -- and may mean -- that she cared not for the child -as well as that the child cared not for her. -- God love you | & S. T. Coleridge