361. To the Editor of the 'Morning Post' MS. New York Public Lib. Pub. Poems, i. 356. E. H. Coleridge and Campbell print Coleridge To the Snow Drop from the rough draft in the following letter and date it 1800. Recent studies indicate that a corrected version of the poem with an added ninth stanza and signed 'Francini' appeared in the Morning Post of 8 Jan. 1798, although no copy of that issue has been traced. Mrs. Robinson Ode to the Snow-drop to which Coleridge refers was published in the Morning Post on 26 Dec 1797. The present letter, therefore, was written in late December 1797 and should follow Letter 215. See D. V. Erdman, "Lost Poem Found", Bulletin of the New York Public Lib., April 1961, pp. 249-68. Sir I am one among your many readers, who have been highly gratified by your extracts from Mrs Robinson's Walsingham; you will oblige me by inserting the following lines [written] immediately on the perusal of her beautiful poem, the Snow Drop. ZAGRI. To the Snow Drop 1 Fear no more, thou timid Flower! Fear thou no more the winter's might; The whelming thaw, the ponderous shower, The silence of the freezing night! Since Laura murmur'd o'er thy leaves The potent sorceries of song, To thee, meek Flowret! gentler gales And cloudless skies belong. 1 3 whelming thaw] first tempest storm, second howling Blast 7 meek] originally sweet ____________________ 1 Coleridge first wrote and then cancelled the following stanza: 1 Fear thou no More the wintry storm, Sweet Flowret, blest by LAURA's song! She gaz'd upon thy slender form, The mild Enchantress gaz'd so long; That trembling as she saw thee droop, Poor Trembler! o'er thy snowy bed, With imitative sympathy She too inclin'd her head. -639- 2 3 She droop'd her head, she stretch'd her arm, She whisper'd low her witching rhymes: Fame unreluctant heard the charm, And bore thee to Pierian climes! Fear thou no more the matin frost That sparkled on thy bed of snow: For there mid laurels evergreen Immortal thou shalt blow. 2 She droop'd her head, she stretch'd her arm, She whisper'd low her witching rhymes: A gentle Sylphid heard the charm, And bore thee to Pierian climes! Fear thou no more the sparkling Frost, The Tempest's howl, the Fog-damp's gloom: For there mid laurels ever-green Immortal thou shalt bloom! 5 sparkling Frost] originally Tempest's Howl ____________________ 3 Fame unreluctant] originally A gentle Sylphid 6 sparkled] originally glitter'd 1 Coleridge first wrote and then cancelled the following stanza, incorporating most of the lines into stanza 3. -640- 4 Thy petals boast a White more soft, The spell hath so perfumed thee, That careless Love shall deem thee oft A Blossom from his myrtle tree. Then laughing at the fair deceit Shall race with some Etesian wind To seek the woven arboret Where LAURA lies reclin'd. 1 White more soft] originally richer white 3 That careless Lovz] originally LOVE's careless eye 5 Then] originally Now 6 Shall race] originally He races 6 some Etesian] originally the western 5 All them, whom Love and Fancy grace, When grosser eyes are clos'd in sleep, The gentle Spirits of the place Waft up th' insuperable steep On whose vast summit broad & smooth Her nest the Phoenix Bird conceals; And where by cypresses o'erhung The heavenly Lethe steals. 1 All) originally For 4 insuperable] originally unvoyageable 5 Vast] originally strange 7 where] originally there 8 The] originally A 6 A sea-like sound the branches breathe Stirr'd by the Breeze that loiters there: And, all that stretch their limbs beneath Forget the coil of mortal care -- Such mists along the margin rise As heal the guests who thither come, And fit the soul to re-endure It's earthly martyrdom. 3 that] originally who 5 Such] first Such second Strange 5 along the margin] originally of magic odour 6 As] originally To 7 The margin dear to moonlight elves Where Zephyr-trembling Lilies grow And bend to kiss their softer Selves That tremble in the stream below -- 1 moonlight] originally midnight -641- There, nightly born, does Laura lie A magic slumber heaves her breast: Her arm, white wanderer of the Harp, Beneath her cheek is prest. 5 There, nightly born,] originally Along that marge 6 A magic] originally Full oft, when 3 The Harp, uphung by golden chains, Of that low Wind which whispers round With coy reproachfulness complains In snatches of reluctant sound. The music hovers half-perceiv'd And only moulds the slumberer's dreams: Remember'd LovEs illume her cheek With Youth's returning gleams. 2 Which] originally that 7 illume] originally relume 8 Youth's returning) originally Beauty's morning