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Best Famous Robert Southey Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Robert Southey poems. This is a select list of the best famous Robert Southey poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Robert Southey poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Robert Southey poems.

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Written by Robert Southey |

My Days among the Dead are Past

 My days among the Dead are past;
Around me I behold,
Where'er these casual eyes are cast,
The mighty minds of old;
My never-failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.
With them I take delight in weal, And seek relief in woe; And while I understand and feel How much to them I owe, My cheeks have often been bedew'd With tears of thoughtful gratitude.
My thoughts are with the Dead, with them I live in long-past years, Their virtues love, their faults condemn, Partake their hopes and fears, And from their lessons seek and find Instruction with an humble mind.
My hopes are with the Dead, anon My place with them will be, And I with them shall travel on Through all Futurity; Yet leaving here a name, I trust, That will not perish in the dust.

Written by Robert Southey |

Poems On The Slave Trade - Sonnet V

 Did then the bold Slave rear at last the Sword
Of Vengeance? drench'd he deep its thirsty blade
In the cold bosom of his tyrant lord?
Oh! who shall blame him? thro' the midnight shade
Still o'er his tortur'd memory rush'd the thought
Of every past delight; his native grove,
Friendship's best joys, and Liberty and Love,
All lost for ever! then Remembrance wrought
His soul to madness; round his restless bed
Freedom's pale spectre stalk'd, with a stern smile
Pointing the wounds of slavery, the while
She shook her chains and hung her sullen head:
No more on Heaven he calls with fruitless breath,
But sweetens with revenge, the draught of death.

Written by Robert Southey |

On The Death Of A Favourite Old Spaniel

 And they have drown'd thee then at last! poor Phillis!
The burthen of old age was heavy on thee.
And yet thou should'st have lived! what tho' thine eye Was dim, and watch'd no more with eager joy The wonted call that on thy dull sense sunk With fruitless repetition, the warm Sun Would still have cheer'd thy slumber, thou didst love To lick the hand that fed thee, and tho' past Youth's active season, even Life itself Was comfort.
Poor old friend! most earnestly Would I have pleaded for thee: thou hadst been Still the companion of my childish sports, And, as I roam'd o'er Avon's woody clifts, From many a day-dream has thy short quick bark Recall'd my wandering soul.
I have beguil'd Often the melancholy hours at school, Sour'd by some little tyrant, with the thought Of distant home, and I remember'd then Thy faithful fondness: for not mean the joy, Returning at the pleasant holydays, I felt from thy dumb welcome.
Pensively Sometimes have I remark'd thy slow decay, Feeling myself changed too, and musing much On many a sad vicissitude of Life! Ah poor companion! when thou followedst last Thy master's parting footsteps to the gate That clos'd for ever on him, thou didst lose Thy truest friend, and none was left to plead For the old age of brute fidelity! But fare thee well! mine is no narrow creed, And HE who gave thee being did not frame The mystery of life to be the sport Of merciless man! there is another world For all that live and move--a better one! Where the proud bipeds, who would fain confine INFINITE GOODNESS to the little bounds Of their own charity, may envy thee!

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Written by Robert Southey |

Go Valentine

 Go, Valentine, and tell that lovely maid 
Whom fancy still will portray to my sight, 
How here I linger in this sullen shade, 
This dreary gloom of dull monastic night; 
Say, that every joy of life remote 
At evening's closing hour I quit the throng, 
Listening in solitude the ring-dome's note, 
Who pours like me her solitary song; 
Say, that of her absence calls the sorrowing sigh; 
Say, that of all her charms I love to speak, 
In fancy feel the magic of her eye, 
In fancy view the smile illume her cheek, 
Court the lone hour when silence stills the grove, 
And heave the sigh of memory and of love.

Written by Robert Southey |

Birth-Day Ode 01

 O my faithful Friend!
O early chosen, ever found the same,
And trusted and beloved! once more the verse
Long destin'd, always obvious to thine ear,
Attend indulgent.

Written by Robert Southey |

To Contemplation

 Faint gleams the evening radiance thro' the sky,
The sober twilight dimly darkens round;
In short quick circles the shrill bat flits by,
And the slow vapour curls along the ground.
Now the pleas'd eye from yon lone cottage sees On the green mead the smoke long-shadowing play; The Red-breast on the blossom'd spray Warbles wild her latest lay, And sleeps along the dale the silent breeze.
Calm CONTEMPLATION,'tis thy favorite hour! Come fill my bosom, tranquillizing Power.
Meek Power! I view thee on the calmy shore When Ocean stills his waves to rest; Or when slow-moving on the surge's hoar Meet with deep hollow roar And whiten o'er his breast; For lo! the Moon with softer radiance gleams, And lovelier heave the billows in her beams.
When the low gales of evening moan along, I love with thee to feel the calm cool breeze, And roam the pathless forest wilds among, Listening the mellow murmur of the trees Full-foliaged as they lift their arms on high And wave their shadowy heads in wildest melody.
Or lead me where amid the tranquil vale The broken stream flows on in silver light, And I will linger where the gale O'er the bank of violets sighs, Listening to hear its soften'd sounds arise; And hearken the dull beetle's drowsy flight, And watch the horn-eyed snail Creep o'er his long moon-glittering trail, And mark where radiant thro' the night Moves in the grass-green hedge the glow-worms living light.
Thee meekest Power! I love to meet, As oft with even solitary pace The scatter'd Abbeys hallowed rounds I trace And listen to the echoings of my feet.
Or on the half demolished tomb, Whole warning texts anticipate my doom: Mark the clear orb of night Cast thro' the storying glass a faintly-varied light.
Nor will I not in some more gloomy hour Invoke with fearless awe thine holier power, Wandering beneath the sainted pile When the blast moans along the darksome aisle, And clattering patters all around The midnight shower with dreary sound.
But sweeter 'tis to wander wild By melancholy dreams beguil'd, While the summer moon's pale ray Faintly guides me on my way To the lone romantic glen Far from all the haunts of men, Where no noise of uproar rude Breaks the calm of solitude.
But soothing Silence sleeps in all Save the neighbouring waterfall, Whose hoarse waters falling near Load with hollow sounds the ear, And with down-dasht torrent white Gleam hoary thro' the shades of night.
Thus wandering silent on and slow I'll nurse Reflection's sacred woe, And muse upon the perish'd day When Hope would weave her visions gay, Ere FANCY chill'd by adverse fate Left sad REALITY my mate.
O CONTEMPLATION! when to Memory's eyes The visions of the long-past days arise, Thy holy power imparts the best relief, And the calm'd Spirit loves the joy of grief.

Written by Robert Southey |

His Books

 MY days among the Dead are past; 
 Around me I behold, 
Where'er these casual eyes are cast, 
 The mighty minds of old: 
My never-failing friends are they, 
With whom I converse day by day.
With them I take delight in weal And seek relief in woe; And while I understand and feel How much to them I owe, My cheeks have often been bedew'd With tears of thoughtful gratitude.
My thoughts are with the Dead; with them I live in long-past years, Their virtues love, their faults condemn, Partake their hopes and fears; And from their lessons seek and find Instruction with an humble mind.
My hopes are with the Dead; anon My place with them will be, And I with them shall travel on Through all Futurity; Yet leaving here a name, I trust, That will not perish in the dust.

Written by Robert Southey |

To The Genius Of Africa

 O thou who from the mountain's height
Roll'st down thy clouds with all their weight
Of waters to old Niles majestic tide;
Or o'er the dark sepulchral plain
Recallest thy Palmyra's ancient pride,
Amid whose desolated domes
Secure the savage chacal roams,
Where from the fragments of the hallow'd fane
The Arabs rear their miserable homes!

Hear Genius hear thy children's cry!
Not always should'st thou love to brood
Stern o'er the desert solitude
Where seas of sand toss their hot surges high;
Nor Genius should the midnight song
Detain thee in some milder mood
The palmy plains among
Where Gambia to the torches light
Flows radiant thro' the awaken'd night.
Ah, linger not to hear the song! Genius avenge thy children's wrong! The Daemon COMMERCE on your shore Pours all the horrors of his train, And hark! where from the field of gore Howls the hyena o'er the slain! Lo! where the flaming village fires the skies! Avenging Power awake--arise! Arise thy children's wrong redress! Ah heed the mother's wretchedness When in the hot infectious air O'er her sick babe she bows opprest-- Ah hear her when the Christians tear The drooping infant from her breast! Whelm'd in the waters he shall rest! Hear thou the wretched mother's cries, Avenging Power awake! arise! By the rank infected air That taints those dungeons of despair, By those who there imprison'd die Where the black herd promiscuous lie, By the scourges blacken'd o'er And stiff and hard with human gore, By every groan of deep distress By every curse of wretchedness, By all the train of Crimes that flow From the hopelessness of Woe, By every drop of blood bespilt, By Afric's wrongs and Europe's guilt, Awake! arise! avenge! And thou hast heard! and o'er their blood-fed plains Swept thine avenging hurricanes; And bade thy storms with whirlwind roar Dash their proud navies on the shore; And where their armies claim'd the fight Wither'd the warrior's might; And o'er the unholy host with baneful breath There Genius thou hast breath'd the gales of Death.
So perish still the robbers of mankind! What tho' from Justice bound and blind Inhuman Power has snatch'd the sword! What tho' thro' many an ignominious age That Fiend with desolating rage The tide of carnage pour'd! Justice shall yet unclose her eyes, Terrific yet in wrath arise, And trample on the tyrant's breast, And make Oppresion groan opprest.

Written by Robert Southey |


 Let ancient stories round the painter's art, 
Who stole from many a maid his Venus' charms, 
Till warm devotion fired each gazer's heart 
And every bosom bounded with alarms.
He culled the beauties of his native isle, From some the blush of beauty's vermeil dyes, From some the lovely look, the winning smile, From some the languid lustre of the eyes.
Low to the finished form the nations round In adoration bent the pious knee; With myrtle wreaths the artist's brow they crowned, Whose skill, Ariste, only imaged thee.
Ill-fated artist, doomed so wide to seek The charms that blossom on Ariste's cheek!

Written by Robert Southey |

The Battle of Blenheim

 It was a summer evening;
Old Kaspar’s work was done,
And he before his cottage door
Was sitting in the sun;
And by him sported on the green
His little grandchild Wilhelmine.
She saw her brother Peterkin Roll something large and round, Which he beside the rivulet In playing there had found.
He came to ask what he had found, That was so large, and smooth, and round.
Old Kaspar took it from the boy, Who stood expectant by; And then the old man shook his head, And with a natural sigh, “‘Tis some poor fellow’s skull,” said he, “Who fell in the great victory.
“I find them in the garden, For there’s many here about; And often, when I go to plow, The plowshare turns them out; For many thousand men,” said he, “Were slain in that great victory.
” “Now tell us what ‘twas all about,” Young Peterkin, he cries; And little Wilhelmine looks up With wonder-waiting eyes; “Now tell us all about the war, And what they fought each other for.
” “It was the English,” Kaspar cried, “Who put the French to rout; But what they fought each other for, I could not well make out; But everybody said,” quoth he, “That ‘twas a famous victory.
“My father lived at Blenheim then, Yon little stream hard by; They burnt his dwelling to the ground, And he was forced to fly; So with his wife and child he fled, Nor had he where to rest his head.
“With fire and sword the country round Was wasted far and wide, And many a childing mother then, And new-born baby, died; But things like that, you know, must be At every famous victory.
“They say it was a shocking sight After the field was won; For many thousand bodies here Lay rotting in the sun; But things like that, you know, must be After a famous victory.
“Great praise the Duke of Marlboro’ won, And our good Prince Eugene.
” “Why, ‘twas a very wicked thing!” Said little Wilhelmine.
“Nay, nay, my little girl,” quoth he; “It was a famous victory.
“And everybody praised the Duke Who this great fight did win.
” “But what good came of it at last?” Quoth little Peterkin.
“Why, that I cannot tell,” said he; “But ‘twas a famous victory.

Written by Robert Southey |

Ode Written On The First Of January

 Come melancholy Moralizer--come!
Gather with me the dark and wintry wreath;
With me engarland now

Come Moralizer to the funeral song!
I pour the dirge of the Departed Days,
For well the funeral song
Befits this solemn hour.
But hark! even now the merry bells ring round With clamorous joy to welcome in this day, This consecrated day, To Mirth and Indolence.
Mortal! whilst Fortune with benignant hand Fills to the brim thy cup of happiness, Whilst her unclouded sun Illumes thy summer day, Canst thou rejoice--rejoice that Time flies fast? That Night shall shadow soon thy summer sun? That swift the stream of Years Rolls to Eternity? If thou hast wealth to gratify each wish, If Power be thine, remember what thou art-- Remember thou art Man, And Death thine heritage! Hast thou known Love? does Beauty's better sun Cheer thy fond heart with no capricious smile, Her eye all eloquence, Her voice all harmony? Oh state of happiness! hark how the gale Moans deep and hollow o'er the leafless grove! Winter is dark and cold-- Where now the charms of Spring? Sayst thou that Fancy paints the future scene In hues too sombrous? that the dark-stol'd Maid With stern and frowning front Appals the shuddering soul? And would'st thou bid me court her faery form When, as she sports her in some happier mood, Her many-colour'd robes Dance varying to the Sun? Ah vainly does the Pilgrim, whose long road Leads o'er the barren mountain's storm-vext height, With anxious gaze survey The fruitful far-off vale.
Oh there are those who love the pensive song To whom all sounds of Mirth are dissonant! There are who at this hour Will love to contemplate! For hopeless Sorrow hails the lapse of Time, Rejoicing when the fading orb of day Is sunk again in night, That one day more is gone.
And he who bears Affliction's heavy load With patient piety, well pleas'd he knows The World a pilgrimage, The Grave the inn of rest.

Written by Robert Southey |

The Paupers Funeral

 What! and not one to heave the pious sigh!
Not one whose sorrow-swoln and aching eye
For social scenes, for life's endearments fled,
Shall drop a tear and dwell upon the dead!
Poor wretched Outcast! I will weep for thee,
And sorrow for forlorn humanity.
Yes I will weep, but not that thou art come To the stern Sabbath of the silent tomb: For squalid Want, and the black scorpion Care, Heart-withering fiends! shall never enter there.
I sorrow for the ills thy life has known As thro' the world's long pilgrimage, alone, Haunted by Poverty and woe-begone, Unloved, unfriended, thou didst journey on: Thy youth in ignorance and labour past, And thine old age all barrenness and blast! Hard was thy Fate, which, while it doom'd to woe, Denied thee wisdom to support the blow; And robb'd of all its energy thy mind, Ere yet it cast thee on thy fellow-kind, Abject of thought, the victim of distress, To wander in the world's wide wilderness.
Poor Outcast sleep in peace! the wintry storm Blows bleak no more on thine unshelter'd form; Thy woes are past; thou restest in the tomb;-- I pause--and ponder on the days to come.

Written by Robert Southey |

Sonnet 03

 Not to thee Bedford mournful is the tale
Of days departed.
Time in his career Arraigns not thee that the neglected year Has past unheeded onward.
To the vale Of years thou journeyest.
May the future road Be pleasant as the past! and on my friend Friendship and Love, best blessings! still attend, 'Till full of days he reach the calm abode Where Nature slumbers.
Lovely is the age Of Virtue.
With such reverence we behold The silver hairs, as some grey oak grown old That whilome mock'd the rushing tempest's rage Now like the monument of strength decayed With rarely-sprinkled leaves casting a trembling shade.

Written by Robert Southey |

Birth-Day Ode 03

 And wouldst thou seek the low abode
Where PEACE delights to dwell?
Pause Traveller on thy way of life!
With many a snare and peril rife
Is that long labyrinth of road:
Dark is the vale of years before
Pause Traveller on thy way!
Nor dare the dangerous path explore
Till old EXPERIENCE comes to lend his leading ray.
Not he who comes with lanthorn light Shall guide thy groping pace aright With faltering feet and slow; No! let him rear the torch on high And every maze shall meet thine eye, And every snare and every foe; Then with steady step and strong, Traveller, shalt thou march along.
Tho' POWER invite thee to her hall, Regard not thou her tempting call Her splendors meteor glare; Tho' courteous Flattery there await And Wealth adorn the dome of State, There stalks the midnight spectre CARE; PEACE, Traveller! does not sojourn there.
If FAME allure thee, climb not thou To that steep mountain's craggy brow Where stands her stately pile; For far from thence does PEACE abide, And thou shall find FAME'S favouring smile Cold as the feeble Sun on Heclas snow-clad side, And Traveller! as thou hopest to find That low and loved abode, Retire thee from the thronging road And shun the mob of human kind.
Ah I hear how old EXPERIENCE schools, "Fly fly the crowd of Knaves and Fools "And thou shalt fly from woe; "The one thy heedless heart will greet "With Judas smile, and thou wilt meet "In every Fool a Foe!" So safely mayest thou pass from these, And reach secure the home of PEACE, And FRIENDSHIP find thee there.
No happier state can mortal know, No happier lot can Earth bestow If LOVE thy lot shall share.
Yet still CONTENT with him may dwell Whom HYMEN will not bless, And VIRTUE sojourn in the cell Of HERMIT HAPPINESS.

Written by Robert Southey |

Sonnet 06

 (to a brook near the village of Corston.
) As thus I bend me o'er thy babbling stream And watch thy current, Memory's hand pourtrays The faint form'd scenes of the departed days, Like the far forest by the moon's pale beam Dimly descried yet lovely.
I have worn Upon thy banks the live-long hour away, When sportive Childhood wantoned thro' the day, Joy'd at the opening splendour of the morn, Or as the twilight darken'd, heaved the sigh Thinking of distant home; as down my cheek At the fond thought slow stealing on, would speak The silent eloquence of the full eye.
Dim are the long past days, yet still they please As thy soft sounds half heard, borne on the inconstant breeze.