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

Famous As: Poet
Born On: October 21, 1772
Died On: July 25, 1834
Born In: Ottery St Mary, Devon, Great Britain, United Kingdom
Founder / Co Founder: Romantic Movement in England
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.

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

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Silence does not always mark wisdom.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
What comes from the heart goes to the heart

What comes from the heart goes to the heart

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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?

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
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.

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.

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!

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
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.

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
In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly

In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly

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

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

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.

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.

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
Willing Suspension of Disbelief

Willing Suspension of Disbelief

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

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

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

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

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
In nature there is nothing melancholy

In nature there is nothing melancholy

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

A sight to dream of, not to tell!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
And life is thorny; and youth is vain

And life is thorny; and youth is vain

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

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

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

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

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

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

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I shot the ALBATROSS.

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.

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 ...

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.

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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
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.

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
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.

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

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

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!

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
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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
Plagiarists are always suspicious of being stolen from

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?

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?

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.

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

Samuel Taylor Coleridge