Coleridge's Poems

Work Without Hope


All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair--

The bees are stirring--birds are on the wing--

And Winter slumbering in the open air,

Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!

And I the while, the sole unbusy thing, 5

Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.

Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,

Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.

Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,

For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away! 10

With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll:

And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?

Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,

And Hope without an object cannot live.