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A collection of Samuel Taylor Coleridge quotes on wisdom, poetry, language, humor and much more.

99 Top Quotes From Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Founder Of The Romantic Movement

Quick Facts

Famous As: Poet, Philosopher, Theologian, Writer, Literary critic

Born On: October 21, 1772

Died On: July 25, 1834

Born In: Ottery St Mary

Died At Age: 61

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a distinguished English philosopher, literary critic and a poet known for his Lyrical Ballads. The pioneer of modern ‘Romantic’ literature, he’s known for his innovative verses and influential thinking. Actively preaching during the French Revolution, this recalcitrant pamphleteer reawakened progressive ideas of middle class men and inspired a new generation of writers like Emerson to develop outstanding meditative, speculative and oracular pieces. He was a constant companion of William Wordsworth, a founder of Romanticism and a well-known member of ‘Lake Poets’. His exemplary works include 8 poems like Kubla Khan, The Rime of Ancient Mariner, critical analysis of Shakespeare’s work and Biographia Literaria, the renowned prose. Coleridge, who coined a series of terminology like the ‘suspension of disbelief’ was the mastermind behind amalgamating English oration with German idealist philosophy. He inspired American transcendentalism during his younger years. Adulthood was harsh to Samuel, who lost his creative mind to bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety, ultimately developing rheumatic fever. It finally got him addicted to opium and he died at 61. His long poems and editorials are compiled under a collective series ‘The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’ available in 16 volumes. He inspired many by his thoughts and beliefs. We have excerpted his quotes from some of his writings, lectures and life. Here is a collection of some profound quotes by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Silence does not always mark wisdom.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Poetry: the best words in the best order.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Sir, I admit your general rule, That every poet is a fool, But you yourself may serve to show it, That every fool is not a poet.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Our own heart, and not other men's opinions, forms our true honor.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Her lips were red, her looks were free, Her locks were yellow as gold: Her skin was white as leprosy, The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she, Who thicks man's blood with cold.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Since then, at an uncertain hour, That agony returns: And till my ghastly tale is told, This heart within me burns.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions - the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A great mind must be androgynous.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Like one, that on a lonesome road Doth walk in fear and dread, And having once turned round walks on, And turns no more his head; Because he knows, a frightful fiend Doth close behind him tread.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Nothing is as contagious as enthusiasm. It is the real allegory of the myth of Orpheus; it moves stones, and charms brutes. It is the genius of sincerity, and truth accomplishes no victories without it.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Language is the armory of the human mind, and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

No man was ever yet a great poet, without at the same time being a profound philosopher.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A grief without a pang, void, dark and drear, A drowsy, stifled, unimpassioned grief, Which finds no natural outlet or relief, In word, or sigh, or tear.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Alone, alone, all, all alone, Alone on a wide wide sea! And never a saint took pity on My soul in agony.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

No mind is thoroughly well-organized that is deficient in a sense of humor.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Works of imagination should be written in very plain language; the more purely imaginative they are the more necessary it is to be plain.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Deep thinking is attainable only by a man of deep feeling, and all truth is a species of revelation

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The many men, so beautiful! And they all dead did lie: And a thousand thousand slimy things Lived on; and so did I.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

What comes from the heart goes to the heart

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The fair breeze blew, The white foam flew, And the forrow followed free. We were the first to ever burst into the silent sea.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Prose: words in their best order; poetry: the best words in the best order.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Good and bad men are each less so than they seem.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship, Yet she sailed softly too: Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze - On me alone it blew.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

He went like one that hath been stunn'd, And is of sense forlorn: A sadder and a wiser man He rose the morrow morn.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Swans sing before they die— 't were no bad thing Should certain persons die before they sing.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A man’s desire is for the woman, but the woman’s desire is rarely other than for the desire of the man.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awoke - Aye! and what then?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Alas; they had been friends in youth but whispering tongues can poison truth

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Sympathy constitutes friendship; but in love there is a sort of antipathy, or opposing passion. Each strives to be the other, and both together make up one whole.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

To see him act is like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

An orphans curse would drag to hell A spirit from on high; But oh! How more horrible that that Is the curse in a dead man’s eye!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Everyone should have two or three hives of bees. Bees are easier to keep than a dog or a cat. They are more interesting than gerbils.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Ah! well a-day! what evil looks Had I from old and young! Instead of the cross, the Albatross About my neck was hung.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

If you would stand well with a great mind, leave him with a favorable impression of yourself; if with a little mind, leave him with a favorable impression of himself.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

And to be wroth with one we love…Doth work like madness in the brain.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

He prayeth best who loveth best, all things both great and small.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Willing Suspension of Disbelief

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I look'd to Heav'n, and try'd to pray; But or ever a prayer had gusht, A wicked whisper came and made My heart as dry as dust.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Until you understand a writer's ignorance, presume yourself ignorant of his understanding.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

They stood aloof the scars remaining. Like cliffs which had been rent asunder.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In nature there is nothing melancholy

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Nature has her proper interest; and he will know what it is, who believes and feels, that every thing has a life of its own, and that we are all one life.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

To be loved is all I need, And whom I love, I love indeed.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white, Glimmered the white moonshine. [...] Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

What is an Epigram? A dwarfish whole, Its body brevity, and wit its soul.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

An orphan's curse would drag to hell A spirit from on high; But oh! more horrible than that Is the curse in a dead man's eye! Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse, And yet I could not die.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A sight to dream of, not to tell!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

And life is thorny; and youth is vain

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The frost performs its secret ministry, Unhelped by any wind.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I shot the ALBATROSS.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Then all the charm Is broken--all that phantom-world so fair Vanishes, and a thousand circlets spread, And each mis-shape the other.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

What is there in thee, Man, that can be known? Dark fluxion, all unfixable by thought, A phantom dim of past and future wrought, Vain sister of the worm ...

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing, Beloved from pole to pole! To Mary Queen the praise be given! She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven, That slid into my soul.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Not one man in a thousand has the strength of mind or the goodness of heart to be an atheist.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Experience informs us that the first defense of weak minds is to recriminate.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A savage place! as holy and enchanted As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted By woman wailing for her demon-lover!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The one red leaf, the last of its clan, That dances as often as dance it can, Hanging so light, and hanging so high, On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Weave a circle round him thrice, And close your eyes with holy dread, For he on honey-dew hath fed, And drank the milk of Paradise.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The selfmoment I could pray; And from my neck so free The Albatross fell off, and sank Like lead into the sea.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Men, I still think, ought to be weighed, not counted. Their worth ought to be the final estimate of their value.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

He who begins by loving Christianity more than Truth, will proceed by loving his sect or church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Every reform, however necessary, will by weak minds be carried to an excess, that itself will need reforming.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

About, about, in reel and rout The death-fires danced at night; The water, like a witch's oils, Burnt green, and blue, and white

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

As a man without forethought scarcely deserves the name of a man, so forethought without reflection is but a metaphorical phrase for the instinct of a beast. - (1772-1834)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

And I had done a hellish thing, And it would work 'em woe: For all averred, I had killed the bird That made the breeze to blow. Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay, That made the breeze to blow!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

And in Life's noisiest hour, There whispers still the ceaseless Love of Thee, The heart's Self-solace and soliloquy.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose, Nor spake, nor moved their eyes; It had been strange, even in a dream, To have seen those dead men rise.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Where true Love burns Desire is Love's pure flame; It is the reflex of our earthly frame, That takes its meaning from the nobler part, And but translates the language of the heart.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

It is a dull and obtuse mind, that must divide in order to distinguish; but it is a still worse that distinguishes in order to divide.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Like cliffs which had been rent asunder; A dreary sea now flows between, But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder, Shall wholly do away, I ween, The marks of that which once hath been.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

For he on honey-dew hath fed, And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

On Pilgrim's Progress: “I could not have believed beforehand that Calvinism could be painted in such exquisitely delightful colors.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Party men always hate a slightly differing friend more than a downright enemy.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The very deep did rot: O Christ! That ever this should be! Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

O lady! we receive but what we give And in our life alone does Nature live.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Until my ghastly tale is told, this heart within me burns.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The mariners all ‘gan work the ropes, where they were wont to do: They raised their limbs like lifeless tools - We were a ghastly crew.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my mind, Reality's dark dream! I turn from you, and listen to the wind.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Why look'st thou so?'— With my cross-bow I shot the ALBATROSS.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Friends should be weighed, not told; who boasts to have won a multitude of friends has never had one.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

When a man is unhappy he writes damned bad poetry, I find.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Her lips were red, her looks were free, Her locks were yellow as gold: Her skin was as white as leprosy, The Night-Mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she, Who thicks man's blood with cold.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

People of humor are always in some degree people of genius.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Plagiarists are always suspicious of being stolen from

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

And what if all of animated nature Be but organic harps diversely framed, That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze, At once the Soul of each, and God of All?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

By thy long grey beard and glittering eye, Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

He prayeth well, who loveth well Both man and bird and beast.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge