This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (line)
No plot so narrow, be but Nature there
No waste so vacant, but may well employ
Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart
Awake to Love and Beauty! (63-66)
A modern-day microbiologist would be proud of Coleridge's thoughts here. We have an easy time appreciating natural beauty when it takes grand and dramatic forms: blazing sunsets, towering mountains, crashing waves; but less so when it comes to the details: the structure of plants, the color of light passing through leaves, the composition of soil. It all depends on perspective.
and had a charm
For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles, to whom
No sound is dissonant which tells of Life. (76-78)
The bird carries a little good luck charm that it sprinkles on Charles's gentle little head. Or at least so the speaker imagines. The bird's linear travel becomes a pretext for drawing a symbolic line between the speaker and his friend. The poem ends on the simple but universal message that nature connects all things.