Jon Sonnheim

Welcome…

…to the Miami University, ENG 342A, Later Romantics Website devoted to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “Work Without Hope.”  Designed in our Spring 2003 class to take a deeper look into some of the Romantic Period’s poets and their works, this website works as an accompaniment to the 1828 Gift Book, The Bijou.  

Included in this website are historical perspectives of the time this poem was written, biographical information on Coleridge, a summary and interpretation of the poem, and an experimental portion relating this piece to a modern-day work.  These sections can be easily navigated through the links below. 

In any case, enjoy the poem, the poet, and the period that is…

Romanticism. 

 

WORK WITHOUT HOPE.

LINES COMPOSED ON A DAY IN FEBRUARY.

By S. T. Coleridge, Esq.

~~~~~~~~

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 forest 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.

Historical Information

Biographical Information

Interpretation

Modern-day Relations

Sources and Links