"INSTEAD OF THE CROSS, THE ALBATROSS/ ABOUT MY NECK WAS HUNG"
COLERIDGE, Samuel Taylor. Sibylline Leaves: a Collection of Poems. London: Rest Fenner, 1817. Octavo, contemporary full brown calf rebacked, retaining red morocco spine label. $2500.
First edition of this collection of poems, including the first appearance of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" under Coleridge's name, with an additional stanza and extensive prose gloss provided by Coleridge that did not appear with the poem in its first uncredited appearance in Lyrical Ballads (1798).
This collection contains the first appearance of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" to appear under Coleridge's name and with an additional stanza on page 15. One of his most famous poems, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" was first published in Lyrical Ballads (1798) under the title "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere, in Seven Parts," but was not credited to Coleridge until publication in this collection. "The elaborate prose gloss accompanying the poem in most modern editions was added by Coleridge when he included it in his collection Sibylline Leaves (1817)" (Cambridge Guide to Literature in English). Among Coleridge's major works here collected, in addition to "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," are "The Nightingale," "Dejection: An Ode," and "France: An Ode." Most of the poems had appeared in print previously, some "in various obscure or perishable journals, &c. some with, some without the writer's consent; many imperfect, all incorrect" (Preface). This volume was originally projected to be the second part of an intended two-volume project consisting of Biographia Literaria and Sibylline Leaves, printed by John Evans & Co. of Bristol in 1814-15 (hence the appearance of the register 'Vol. II' at intervals in the text). This project was abandoned and the sheets were acquired by Rest Fenner, who printed the preliminaries and issued the work, as here, in 1817. Wise, Coleridge, 45. Wise, Two Lake Poets, 79. Boards with gilt-tooled centerpiece arms of The Society of Writers to the Signet, Scotland's independent lawyers' association and one of the world's oldest professional organizations. Old shelf label on front pastedown.
Only occasional spotting, chiefly marginal. An extremely good copy.