Work Without Hope – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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,
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!
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.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (composed 21st February 1825)

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imogen88

Seeking balance from corporate life years back, Monika Roleff stumbled across Lemuria in cyberspace, and became Imogen Crest, Hermit muse, under the influence of Heather Blakey, educator and Webmistress of Soul Food Cafe - famous global writing and art group. "Imogen" has never looked back, and creates the world as she sees it, through the eyes of nature, in word and art. In "real life" Monika Roleff is a writer, nature photographer, consultant, vintage fairs and events, writing fests and more, with an extensive admin and retail fashion background, and can be contacted on indigo_moon22 at hotmail dot com.

7 thoughts on “Work Without Hope – Samuel Taylor Coleridge”

  1. I wonder how many realized this high sentiment resides in a sonnet, usually scorned for mechanicality?

    “lips unbrightened” excellent wording for not smiling-although it is nonsense, we know what it must mean

    “Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
    And Hope without an object cannot live.”

    Isn’t it beautiful how a couplet can unify the desperate theme of the poem, that Hope is the nectar of the gods- which we can taste of when we are motivated to a specific object?

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