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gogue in Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire, on whom the scriptural blessing of many children had already been bestowed. The future poet and metaphysician was remarkable even in boyhood. His life had no childhood, and none of the sports of children. The spirit of the boy was withdrawn into reading or meditation, driven from life in motion to life in thought and sensation,' as he himself says. He began writing poetry before he was ten years old. When the death of his father broke his home ties, the boy passed to Christ's Hospital (School), London, to be clad in blue coat and yellow stockings, and turned loose among some hundreds of boys dressed in similar coats and stockings, underfed, overflogged. Coleridge made his mark as a scholar, and yet, tradition says, had many an extra lash from the headmaster because he was so ugly.' The discipline was severe and the life unsympathetic, to an extent that the boy was once tempted to escape and learn shoemaking from a friendly cobbler. Yet the school could not restrain the spirit
On the leaden roof
See trees, and meadows, and thy native stream. Here are six lines written before Coleridge was fifteen years old, the last one especially noteworthy as showing how early the gift of imaginative expression had come to him.
O fair is love's first hope to gentle mind !