The Improvisatore Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Scene A spacious drawing room with music room adjoiningA
Katharine What are the wordsB
Eliza Ask our friend the Improvisatore here he comes Kate has a favourC
to ask of you Sir it is that you will repeat the ballad Believe me ifD
all those endearing young charms EHC's note that Mr sang soE
Friend It is in Moore's Irish Melodies but I do not recollect theG
words distinctly The moral of them however I take to be thisH
Love would remain the same if trueC
When we were neither young nor newC
Yea and in all within the will that cameI
By the same proofs would show itself the sameI
Eliza What are the lines you repeated from Beaumont and Fletcher which myJ
mother admired so much It begins with something about two vines so closeK
that their tendrils intermingleL
Friend You mean Charles' speech to Angelina in The Elder BrotherC
We'll live together like two neighbour vinesM
Circling our souls and loves in one anotherC
We'll spring together and we'll bear one fruitN
One joy shall make us smile and one grief mournO
One age go with us and one hour of deathP
Shall close our eyes and one grave make us happyF
Katharine A precious boon that would go far to reconcile one to oldQ
age this love if true But is there any such true loveR
Friend I hope soE
Katharine But do you believe itS
Eliza eagerly I am sure he doesT
Friend From a man turned of fifty Katharine I imagine expects aG
less confident answerC
Katharine A more sincere one perhapsU
Friend Even though he should have obtained the nick name ofR
Improvisatore by perpetrating charades and extempore verses atV
Christmas timesW
Eliza Nay but be seriousX
Friend Serious Doubtless A grave personage of my years giving aG
Love lecture to two young ladies cannot well be otherwise TheG
difficulty I suspect would be for them to remain so It will beF
asked whether I am not the elderly gentleman' who sate despairingA
beside a clear stream' with a willow for his wig blockY
Eliza Say another word and we will call it downright affectationZ
Katharine No we will be affronted drop a courtesy and ask pardon forC
our presumption in expecting that Mr would waste his sense on twoC
insignificant girlsA2
Friend Well well I will be serious Hem Now then commences theG
discourse Mr Moore's song being the text Love as distinguishedB2
from Friendship on the one hand and from the passion that too oftenZ
usurps its name on the otherC
Lucius Eliza's brother who had just joined the trio in a whisper to theG
Friend But is not Love the union of bothC2
Friend aside to Lucius He never loved who thinks soE
Eliza Brother we don't want you There Mrs H cannot arrange theG
flower vase without you Thank you Mrs HartmanZ
Lucius I'll have my revenge I know what I will sayD2
Eliza Off Off Now dear Sir Love you were sayingA
Friend Hush Preaching you mean ElizaG
Eliza impatiently PshawE2
Friend Well then I was saying that Love truly such is itself notF2
the most common thing in the world and that mutual love still lessG2
so But that enduring personal attachment so beautifully delineatedH2
by Erin's sweet melodist and still more touchingly perhaps in theG
well known ballad John Anderson my Jo John ' in addition to aG
depth and constancy of character of no every day occurrence supposesI2
a peculiar sensibility and tenderness of nature a constitutionalL
communicativeness and utterancy of heart and soul a delight in theG
detail of sympathy in the outward and visible signs of the sacramentJ2
within to count as it were the pulses of the life of love ButK2
above all it supposes a soul which even in the pride and summer tideL2
of life even in the lustihood of health and strength had feltM2
oftenest and prized highest that which age cannot take away and whichE2
in all our lovings is the LoveR
Eliza There is something here pointing to her heart that seems toC
understand you but wants the word that would make it understand itselfN2
Katharine I too seem to feel what you mean Interpret the feeling forC
Friend I mean that willing sense of the insufficingness of theG
self for itself which predisposes a generous nature to see in theG
total being of another the supplement and completion of its ownO2
that quiet perpetual seeking which the presence of the belovedP2
object modulates not suspends where the heart momently finds andQ2
finding again seeks on lastly when life's changeful orb hasR2
pass'd the full' a confirmed faith in the nobleness of humanity thusX
brought home and pressed as it were to the very bosom of hourlyF
experience it supposes I say a heartfelt reverence for worth notF2
the less deep because divested of its solemnity by habit byJ
familiarity by mutual infirmities and even by a feeling of modestyF
which will arise in delicate minds when they are conscious ofR
possessing the same or the correspondent excellence in their ownO2
characters In short there must be a mind which while it feels theG
beautiful and the excellent in the beloved as its own and by right ofR
love appropriates it can call Goodness its Playfellow and daresS2
make sport of time and infirmity while in the person of aG
thousand foldly endeared partner we feel for aged Virtue theG
caressing fondness that belongs to the Innocence of childhood andQ2
repeat the same attentions and tender courtesies which had beenT2
dictated by the same affection to the same object when attired inT2
feminine loveliness or in manly beautyF
Eliza What a soothing what an elevating ideaG
Katharine If it be not only an ideaG
Friend At all events these qualities which I have enumerated areC
rarely found united in a single individual How much more rare must itS
be that two such individuals should meet together in this wide worldU2
under circumstances that admit of their union as Husband and Wife AG
person may be highly estimable on the whole nay amiable as aG
neighbour friend housemate in short in all the concentric circlesV2
of attachment save only the last and inmost and yet from how manyF
causes be estranged from the highest perfection in this PrideL2
coldness or fastidiousness of nature worldly cares an anxious orC
ambitious disposition a passion for display a sullen temper one orC
the other too often proves the dead fly in the compost of spices'V2
and any one is enough to unfit it for the precious balm of unctionF
For some mighty good sort of people too there is not seldom a sortW2
of solemn saturnine or if you will ursine vanity that keeps itselfN2
alive by sucking the paws of its own self importance And as this highJ
sense or rather sensation of their own value is for the most partX2
grounded on negative qualities so they have no better means ofR
preserving the same but by negatives that is but not doing or sayingA
any thing that might be put down for fond silly or nonsensicalL
or to use their own phrase by never forgetting themselves whichE2
some of their acquaintance are uncharitable enough to think the mostY2
worthless object they could be employed in rememberingA
Eliza in answer to a whisper from Katharine To a hair He must haveZ2
sate for it himself Save me from such folks But they are out of theG
Friend True but the same effect is produced in thousands by the tooC
general insensibility to a very important truth this namely thatV
the MISERY of human life is made up of laA3

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


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