O strange awakening to a world of gloom,
And baffled moonbeams and delirious stars,
Of souls that moan behind forbidden bars,
And waving forests swept by wings of doom;
Of heroes falling in unhappy fight,
And winged messengers from eyries dim;
And mountains ringed with flame, and shapes that swim
In the deep river’s green translucent night.

O restless soul, for ever seeking bliss,
Thirsty for ever and unsatisfied,
Whether the woodland starts to the echoing horn,
Or dying Tristram moans by shores forlorn,
Or Siegfried rides through fire to wake his bride,
And shakes the whirling planets with a kiss.

The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.

We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an online journal for those who seek the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More, and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude, and prayer.

The featured image is a bust of Richard Wagner in Venice, uploaded by Daderot. It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license and has been brightened for clarity.

All comments are moderated and must be civil, concise, and constructive to the conversation. Comments that are critical of an essay may be approved, but comments containing ad hominem criticism of the author will not be published. Also, comments containing web links or block quotations are unlikely to be approved. Keep in mind that essays represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Imaginative Conservative or its editor or publisher.

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