304. To the Editor of the 'Morning Post' Pub. Morning Post, 21 December 1799. Since the poem, Introduction to the Tale of the Dark Ladie, is printed in Poems, ii. 1052, in the form in which it appeared in the Morning Post, it has been omitted here. See Letter 887 for the version of the poem published in Lyrical Ballads, 1800, where it is entitled Love. December 21, 1799 Sir, The following Poem is the Introduction to a somewhat longer one, for which I shall solicit insertion on your next open day. The use of the Old Ballad word, Ladie, for Lady, is the only piece of ____________________ 1 First published in the Morning Post, 24 Sept 1799. Poems, i. 324. 2 This joint production of Coleridge and Southey was published anony. mously in the Morning Post, 6 Sept 1799. Poems, i. 819. 3 Fears in Solitude, and the accompanying poems, France, an Ode, and Frost at Midnight, published by Johnson in 1798, were not included in the Annual Anthology. 4 Mary Hays published Female Biography, or Memoirs of Illustrious and Celebrated Women, 6 vols., 1803. -550- obsoleteness in it; and as it is professedly a tale of antient times, I trust, that 'the affectionate lovers of venerable antiquity' (as Cambden says) will grant me their pardon, and perhaps may be induced to admit a force and propriety in it. A heavier objection may be adduced against the Author, that in these times of fear and expectation, when novelties explode around us in all directions, he should presume to offer to the public a silly tale of old fashioned love: and, five years ago, I own, I should have allowed and felt the force of this objection. But, alas! explosion has succeeded explosion so rapidly, that novelty itself ceases to appear new; and it is possible that now, even a simple story, wholly unspired [unspiced?] with politics or personality, may find some attention amid the hubbub of Revolutions, as to those who have remained a long time by the falls of Niagara, the lowest whispering becomes distinctly audible. S. T. Coleridge.