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Best Famous Robert Southey Poems

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Written by Robert Southey | Create an image from this poem

Mary - A Ballad

 Author Note: The story of the following ballad was related to me, when a school boy, as a fact which had really happened in the North of England.
I have adopted the metre of Mr.
Lewis's Alonzo and Imogene--a poem deservedly popular.
I.
Who is she, the poor Maniac, whose wildly-fix'd eyes Seem a heart overcharged to express? She weeps not, yet often and deeply she sighs, She never complains, but her silence implies The composure of settled distress.
II.
No aid, no compassion the Maniac will seek, Cold and hunger awake not her care: Thro' her rags do the winds of the winter blow bleak On her poor withered bosom half bare, and her cheek Has the deathy pale hue of despair.
III.
Yet chearful and happy, nor distant the day, Poor Mary the Maniac has been; The Traveller remembers who journeyed this way No damsel so lovely, no damsel so gay As Mary the Maid of the Inn.
IV.
Her chearful address fill'd the guests with delight As she welcomed them in with a smile: Her heart was a stranger to childish affright, And Mary would walk by the Abbey at night When the wind whistled down the dark aisle.
V.
She loved, and young Richard had settled the day, And she hoped to be happy for life; But Richard was idle and worthless, and they Who knew him would pity poor Mary and say That she was too good for his wife.
VI.
'Twas in autumn, and stormy and dark was the night, And fast were the windows and door; Two guests sat enjoying the fire that burnt bright, And smoking in silence with tranquil delight They listen'd to hear the wind roar.
VII.
"Tis pleasant," cried one, "seated by the fire side "To hear the wind whistle without.
" "A fine night for the Abbey!" his comrade replied, "Methinks a man's courage would now be well tried "Who should wander the ruins about.
VIII.
"I myself, like a school-boy, should tremble to hear "The hoarse ivy shake over my head; "And could fancy I saw, half persuaded by fear, "Some ugly old Abbot's white spirit appear, "For this wind might awaken the dead!" IX.
"I'll wager a dinner," the other one cried, "That Mary would venture there now.
" "Then wager and lose!" with a sneer he replied, "I'll warrant she'd fancy a ghost by her side, "And faint if she saw a white cow.
" X.
"Will Mary this charge on her courage allow?" His companion exclaim'd with a smile; "I shall win, for I know she will venture there now, "And earn a new bonnet by bringing a bough "From the elder that grows in the aisle.
" XI.
With fearless good humour did Mary comply, And her way to the Abbey she bent; The night it was dark, and the wind it was high And as hollowly howling it swept thro' the sky She shiver'd with cold as she went.
XII.
O'er the path so well known still proceeded the Maid Where the Abbey rose dim on the sight, Thro' the gate-way she entered, she felt not afraid Yet the ruins were lonely and wild, and their shade Seem'd to deepen the gloom of the night.
XIII.
All around her was silent, save when the rude blast Howl'd dismally round the old pile; Over weed-cover'd fragments still fearless she past, And arrived in the innermost ruin at last Where the elder tree grew in the aisle.
XIV.
Well-pleas'd did she reach it, and quickly drew near And hastily gather'd the bough: When the sound of a voice seem'd to rise on her ear, She paus'd, and she listen'd, all eager to hear, Aud her heart panted fearfully now.
XV.
The wind blew, the hoarse ivy shook over her head, She listen'd,--nought else could she hear.
The wind ceas'd, her heart sunk in her bosom with dread For she heard in the ruins distinctly the tread Of footsteps approaching her near.
XVI.
Behind a wide column half breathless with fear She crept to conceal herself there: That instant the moon o'er a dark cloud shone clear, And she saw in the moon-light two ruffians appear And between them a corpse did they bear.
XVII.
Then Mary could feel her heart-blood curdle cold! Again the rough wind hurried by,-- It blew off the hat of the one, and behold Even close to the feet of poor Mary it roll'd,-- She felt, and expected to die.
XVIII.
"Curse the hat!" he exclaims.
"Nay come on and first hide "The dead body," his comrade replies.
She beheld them in safety pass on by her side, She seizes the hat, fear her courage supplied, And fast thro' the Abbey she flies.
XIX.
She ran with wild speed, she rush'd in at the door, She gazed horribly eager around, Then her limbs could support their faint burthen no more, And exhausted and breathless she sunk on the floor Unable to utter a sound.
XX.
Ere yet her pale lips could the story impart, For a moment the hat met her view;-- Her eyes from that object convulsively start, For--oh God what cold horror then thrill'd thro' her heart, When the name of her Richard she knew! XXI.
Where the old Abbey stands, on the common hard by His gibbet is now to be seen.
Not far from the road it engages the eye, The Traveller beholds it, and thinks with a sigh Of poor Mary the Maid of the Inn.
Written by Robert Southey | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

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!
Written by Robert Southey | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

Rudiger - A Ballad

 Author Note: Divers Princes and Noblemen being assembled in a beautiful and fair
Palace, which was situate upon the river Rhine, they beheld a boat or
small barge make toward the shore, drawn by a Swan in a silver chain,
the one end fastened about her neck, the other to the vessel; and in it
an unknown soldier, a man of a comely personage and graceful presence,
who stept upon the shore; which done, the boat guided by the Swan left
him, and floated down the river.
This man fell afterward in league with a fair gentlewoman, married her, and by her had many children.
After some years, the same Swan came with the same barge into the same place; the soldier entering into it, was carried thence the way he came, left wife, children and family, and was never seen amongst them after.
Now who can judge this to be other than one of those spirits that are named Incubi? says Thomas Heywood.
I have adopted his story, but not his solution, making the unknown soldier not an evil spirit, but one who had purchased happiness of a malevolent being, by the promised sacrifice of his first-born child.
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Bright on the mountain's heathy slope The day's last splendors shine And rich with many a radiant hue Gleam gayly on the Rhine.
And many a one from Waldhurst's walls Along the river stroll'd, As ruffling o'er the pleasant stream The evening gales came cold.
So as they stray'd a swan they saw Sail stately up and strong, And by a silver chain she drew A little boat along, Whose streamer to the gentle breeze Long floating fluttered light, Beneath whose crimson canopy There lay reclin'd a knight.
With arching crest and swelling breast On sail'd the stately swan And lightly up the parting tide The little boat came on.
And onward to the shore they drew And leapt to land the knight, And down the stream the swan-drawn boat Fell soon beyond the sight.
Was never a Maid in Waldhurst's walls Might match with Margaret, Her cheek was fair, her eyes were dark, Her silken locks like jet.
And many a rich and noble youth Had strove to win the fair, But never a rich or noble youth Could rival Rudiger.
At every tilt and turney he Still bore away the prize, For knightly feats superior still And knightly courtesies.
His gallant feats, his looks, his love, Soon won the willing fair, And soon did Margaret become The wife of Rudiger.
Like morning dreams of happiness Fast roll'd the months away, For he was kind and she was kind And who so blest as they? Yet Rudiger would sometimes sit Absorb'd in silent thought And his dark downward eye would seem With anxious meaning fraught; But soon he rais'd his looks again And smil'd his cares eway, And mid the hall of gaiety Was none like him so gay.
And onward roll'd the waining months, The hour appointed came, And Margaret her Rudiger Hail'd with a father's name.
But silently did Rudiger The little infant see, And darkly on the babe he gaz'd And very sad was he.
And when to bless the little babe The holy Father came, To cleanse the stains of sin away In Christ's redeeming name, Then did the cheek of Rudiger Assume a death-pale hue, And on his clammy forehead stood The cold convulsive dew; And faltering in his speech he bade The Priest the rites delay, Till he could, to right health restor'd, Enjoy the festive day.
When o'er the many-tinted sky He saw the day decline, He called upon his Margaret To walk beside the Rhine.
"And we will take the little babe, "For soft the breeze that blows, "And the wild murmurs of the stream "Will lull him to repose.
" So forth together did they go, The evening breeze was mild, And Rudiger upon his arm Did pillow the sweet child.
And many a one from Waldhurst's walls Along the banks did roam, But soon the evening wind came cold, And all betook them home.
Yet Rudiger in silent mood Along the banks would roam, Nor aught could Margaret prevail To turn his footsteps home.
"Oh turn thee--turn thee Rudiger, "The rising mists behold, "The evening wind is damp and chill, "The little babe is cold!" "Now hush thee--hush thee Margaret, "The mists will do no harm, "And from the wind the little babe "Lies sheltered on my arm.
" "Oh turn thee--turn thee Rudiger, "Why onward wilt thou roam? "The moon is up, the night is cold, "And we are far from home.
" He answered not, for now he saw A Swan come sailing strong, And by a silver chain she drew A little boat along.
To shore they came, and to the boat Fast leapt he with the child, And in leapt Margaret--breathless now And pale with fear and wild.
With arching crest and swelling breast On sail'd the stately swan, And lightly down the rapid tide The little boat went on.
The full-orb'd moon that beam'd around Pale splendor thro' the night, Cast through the crimson canopy A dim-discoloured light.
And swiftly down the hurrying stream In silence still they sail, And the long streamer fluttering fast Flapp'd to the heavy gale.
And he was mute in sullen thought And she was mute with fear, Nor sound but of the parting tide Broke on the listening ear.
The little babe began to cry And waked his mother's care, "Now give to me the little babe "For God's sake, Rudiger!" "Now hush thee, hush thee Margaret! "Nor my poor heart distress-- "I do but pay perforce the price "Of former happiness.
"And hush thee too my little babe, "Thy cries so feeble cease: "Lie still, lie still;--a little while "And thou shalt be at peace.
" So as he spake to land they drew, And swift he stept on shore, And him behind did Margaret Close follow evermore.
It was a place all desolate, Nor house nor tree was there, And there a rocky mountain rose Barren, and bleak, and bare.
And at its base a cavern yawn'd, No eye its depth might view, For in the moon-beam shining round That darkness darker grew.
Cold Horror crept thro' Margaret's blood, Her heart it paus'd with fear, When Rudiger approach'd the cave And cried, "lo I am here!" A deep sepulchral sound the cave Return'd "lo I am here!" And black from out the cavern gloom Two giant arms appear.
And Rudiger approach'd and held The little infant nigh; Then Margaret shriek'd, and gather'd then New powers from agony.
And round the baby fast and firm Her trembling arms she folds, And with a strong convulsive grasp The little infant holds.
"Now help me, Jesus!" loud she cries.
And loud on God she calls; Then from the grasp of Rudiger The little infant falls.
And now he shriek'd, for now his frame The huge black arms clasp'd round, And dragg'd the wretched Rudiger Adown the dark profound.
Written by Robert Southey | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

Gods Judgment on a Wicked Bishop

 The summer and autumn had been so wet,
That in winter the corn was growing yet,
'Twas a piteous sight to see all around
The grain lie rotting on the ground.
Every day the starving poor Crowded around Bishop Hatto's door, For he had a plentiful last-year's store, And all the neighbourhood could tell His granaries were furnish'd well.
At last Bishop Hatto appointed a day To quiet the poor without delay; He bade them to his great Barn repair, And they should have food for the winter there.
Rejoiced such tidings good to hear, The poor folk flock'd from far and near; The great barn was full as it could hold Of women and children, and young and old.
Then when he saw it could hold no more, Bishop Hatto he made fast the door; And while for mercy on Christ they call, He set fire to the Barn and burnt them all.
"I'faith 'tis an excellent bonfire!" quoth he, "And the country is greatly obliged to me, For ridding it in these times forlorn Of Rats that only consume the corn.
" So then to his palace returned he, And he sat down to supper merrily, And he slept that night like an innocent man; But Bishop Hatto never slept again.
In the morning as he enter'd the hall Where his picture hung against the wall, A sweat like death all over him came, For the Rats had eaten it out of the frame.
As he look'd there came a man from his farm-- He had a countenance white with alarm; "My Lord, I open'd your granaries this morn, And the Rats had eaten all your corn.
" Another came running presently, And he was pale as pale could be, "Fly! my Lord Bishop, fly," quoth he, "Ten thousand Rats are coming this way,.
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The Lord forgive you for yesterday!" "I'll go to my tower on the Rhine," replied he, "'Tis the safest place in Germany; The walls are high and the shores are steep, And the stream is strong and the water deep.
" Bishop Hatto fearfully hasten'd away, And he crost the Rhine without delay, And reach'd his tower, and barr'd with care All the windows, doors, and loop-holes there.
He laid him down and closed his eyes;.
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But soon a scream made him arise, He started and saw two eyes of flame On his pillow from whence the screaming came.
He listen'd and look'd;.
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it was only the Cat; And the Bishop he grew more fearful for that, For she sat screaming, mad with fear At the Army of Rats that were drawing near.
For they have swum over the river so deep, And they have climb'd the shores so steep, And up the Tower their way is bent, To do the work for which they were sent.
They are not to be told by the dozen or score, By thousands they come, and by myriads and more, Such numbers had never been heard of before, Such a judgment had never been witness'd of yore.
Down on his knees the Bishop fell, And faster and faster his beads did he tell, As louder and louder drawing near The gnawing of their teeth he could hear.
And in at the windows and in at the door, And through the walls helter-skelter they pour, And down from the ceiling and up through the floor, From the right and the left, from behind and before, From within and without, from above and below, And all at once to the Bishop they go.
They have whetted their teeth against the stones, And now they pick the Bishop's bones: They gnaw'd the flesh from every limb, For they were sent to do judgment on him!
Written by Robert Southey | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

Sappho - A Monodrama

 Argument.
To leap from the promontory of LEUCADIA was believed by the Greeks to be a remedy for hopeless love, if the self-devoted victim escaped with life.
Artemisia lost her life in the dangerous experiment: and Sappho is said thus to have perished, in attempting to cure her passion for Phaon.
SAPPHO (Scene the promontory of Leucadia.
) This is the spot:--'tis here Tradition says That hopeless Love from this high towering rock Leaps headlong to Oblivion or to Death.
Oh 'tis a giddy height! my dizzy head Swims at the precipice--'tis death to fall! Lie still, thou coward heart! this is no time To shake with thy strong throbs the frame convuls'd.
To die,--to be at rest--oh pleasant thought! Perchance to leap and live; the soul all still, And the wild tempest of the passions husht In one deep calm; the heart, no more diseas'd By the quick ague fits of hope and fear, Quietly cold! Presiding Powers look down! In vain to you I pour'd my earnest prayers, In vain I sung your praises: chiefly thou VENUS! ungrateful Goddess, whom my lyre Hymn'd with such full devotion! Lesbian groves, Witness how often at the languid hour Of summer twilight, to the melting song Ye gave your choral echoes! Grecian Maids Who hear with downcast look and flushing cheek That lay of love bear witness! and ye Youths, Who hang enraptur'd on the empassion'd strain Gazing with eloquent eye, even till the heart Sinks in the deep delirium! and ye too Shall witness, unborn Ages! to that song Of warmest zeal; ah witness ye, how hard, Her fate who hymn'd the votive hymn in vain! Ungrateful Goddess! I have hung my lute In yonder holy pile: my hand no more Shall wake the melodies that fail'd to move The heart of Phaon--yet when Rumour tells How from Leucadia Sappho hurl'd her down A self-devoted victim--he may melt Too late in pity, obstinate to love.
Oh haunt his midnight dreams, black NEMESIS! Whom, self-conceiving in the inmost depths Of CHAOS, blackest NIGHT long-labouring bore, When the stern DESTINIES, her elder brood.
And shapeless DEATH, from that more monstrous birth Leapt shuddering! haunt his slumbers, Nemesis, Scorch with the fires of Phlegethon his heart, Till helpless, hopeless, heaven-abandon'd wretch He too shall seek beneath the unfathom'd deep To hide him from thy fury.
How the sea Far distant glitters as the sun-beams smile, And gayly wanton o'er its heaving breast Phoebus shines forth, nor wears one cloud to mourn His votary's sorrows! God of Day shine on-- By Man despis'd, forsaken by the Gods, I supplicate no more.
How many a day, O pleasant Lesbos! in thy secret streams Delighted have I plung'd, from the hot sun Screen'd by the o'er-arching groves delightful shade, And pillowed on the waters: now the waves Shall chill me to repose.
Tremendous height! Scarce to the brink will these rebellious limbs Support me.
Hark! how the rude deep below Roars round the rugged base, as if it called Its long-reluctant victim! I will come.
One leap, and all is over! The deep rest Of Death, or tranquil Apathy's dead calm Welcome alike to me.
Away vain fears! Phaon is cold, and why should Sappho live? Phaon is cold, or with some fairer one-- Thought worse than death! (She throws herself from the precipice.
)
Written by Robert Southey | Create an image from this poem

Donica - A Ballad

 Author Note: In Finland there is a Castle which is called the New Rock, moated about with a river of unfounded depth, the water black and the fish therein
very distateful to the palate.
In this are spectres often seen, which foreshew either the death of the Governor, or some prime officer belonging to the place; and most commonly it appeareth in the shape of an harper, sweetly singing and dallying and playing under the water.
It is reported of one Donica, that after she was dead, the Devil walked in her body for the space of two years, so that none suspected but that she was still alive; for she did both speak and eat, though very sparingly; only she had a deep paleness on her countenance, which was the only sign of death.
At length a Magician coming by where she was then in the company of many other virgins, as soon as he beheld her he said, "fair Maids, why keep you company with the dead Virgin whom you suppose to be alive?" when taking away the magic charm which was tied under her arm, the body fell down lifeless and without motion.
The following Ballad is founded on these stories.
They are to be found in the notes to The Hierarchies of the blessed Angels; a Poem by Thomas Heywood, printed in folio by Adam Islip, 1635.
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High on a rock, whose castled shade Darken'd the lake below, In ancient strength majestic stood The towers of Arlinkow.
The fisher in the lake below Durst never cast his net, Nor ever swallow in its waves Her passing wings would wet.
The cattle from its ominous banks In wild alarm would run, Tho' parched with thirst and faint beneath The summer's scorching sun.
For sometimes when no passing breeze The long lank sedges waved, All white with foam and heaving high Its deafening billows raved; And when the tempest from its base The rooted pine would shake, The powerless storm unruffling swept Across the calm dead lake.
And ever then when Death drew near The house of Arlinkow, Its dark unfathom'd depths did send Strange music from below.
The Lord of Arlinkow was old, One only child had he, Donica was the Maiden's name As fair as fair might be.
A bloom as bright as opening morn Flush'd o'er her clear white cheek, The music of her voice was mild, Her full dark eyes were meek.
Far was her beauty known, for none So fair could Finland boast, Her parents loved the Maiden much, Young EBERHARD loved her most.
Together did they hope to tread The pleasant path of life, For now the day drew near to make Donica Eberhard's wife.
The eve was fair and mild the air, Along the lake they stray; The eastern hill reflected bright The fading tints of day.
And brightly o'er the water stream'd The liquid radiance wide; Donica's little dog ran on And gambol'd at her side.
Youth, Health, and Love bloom'd on her cheek, Her full dark eyes express In many a glance to Eberhard Her soul's meek tenderness.
Nor sound was heard, nor passing gale Sigh'd thro' the long lank sedge, The air was hushed, no little wave Dimpled the water's edge.
Sudden the unfathom'd lake sent forth Strange music from beneath, And slowly o'er the waters sail'd The solemn sounds of Death.
As the deep sounds of Death arose, Donica's cheek grew pale, And in the arms of Eberhard The senseless Maiden fell.
Loudly the youth in terror shriek'd, And loud he call'd for aid, And with a wild and eager look Gaz'd on the death-pale Maid.
But soon again did better thoughts In Eberhard arise, And he with trembling hope beheld The Maiden raise her eyes.
And on his arm reclin'd she moved With feeble pace and slow, And soon with strength recover'd reach'd Yet never to Donica's cheek Return'd the lively hue, Her cheeks were deathy, white, and wan, Her lips a livid blue.
Her eyes so bright and black of yore Were now more black and bright, And beam'd strange lustre in her face So deadly wan and white.
The dog that gambol'd by her side, And lov'd with her to stray, Now at his alter'd mistress howl'd And fled in fear away.
Yet did the faithful Eberhard Not love the Maid the less; He gaz'd with sorrow, but he gaz'd With deeper tenderness.
And when he found her health unharm'd He would not brook delay, But press'd the not unwilling Maid To fix the bridal day.
And when at length it came, with joy They hail'd the bridal day, And onward to the house of God They went their willing way.
And as they at the altar stood And heard the sacred rite, The hallowed tapers dimly stream'd A pale sulphureous light.
And as the Youth with holy warmth Her hand in his did hold, Sudden he felt Donica's hand Grow deadly damp and cold.
And loudly did he shriek, for lo! A Spirit met his view, And Eberhard in the angel form His own Donica knew.
That instant from her earthly frame Howling the Daemon fled, And at the side of Eberhard The livid form fell dead.
Written by Robert Southey | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

Inchcape Rock

 No stir in the air, no stir in the sea, 
The Ship was still as she could be; 
Her sails from heaven received no motion, 
Her keel was steady in the ocean.
Without either sign or sound of their shock, The waves flow’d over the Inchcape Rock; So little they rose, so little they fell, They did not move the Inchcape Bell.
The Abbot of Aberbrothok Had placed that bell on the Inchcape Rock; On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung, And over the waves its warning rung.
When the Rock was hid by the surge’s swell, The Mariners heard the warning Bell; And then they knew the perilous Rock, And blest the Abbot of Aberbrothok The Sun in the heaven was shining gay, All things were joyful on that day; The sea-birds scream’d as they wheel’d round, And there was joyaunce in their sound.
The buoy of the Inchcpe Bell was seen A darker speck on the ocean green; Sir Ralph the Rover walk’d his deck, And fix’d his eye on the darker speck.
He felt the cheering power of spring, It made him whistle, it made him sing; His heart was mirthful to excess, But the Rover’s mirth was wickedness.
His eye was on the Inchcape Float; Quoth he, “My men, put out the boat, And row me to the Inchcape Rock, And I’ll plague the Abbot of Aberbrothok.
” The boat is lower’d, the boatmen row, And to the Inchcape Rock they go; Sir Ralph bent over from the boat, And he cut the bell from the Inchcape Float.
Down sank the Bell with a gurgling sound, The bubbles rose and burst around; Quoth Sir Ralph, “The next who comes to the Rock, Won’t bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok.
” Sir ralph the Rover sail’d away, He scour’d the seas for many a day; And now grown rich with plunder’d store, He steers his course for Scotland’s shore.
So thick a haze o’erspreads the sky, They cannot see the sun on high; The wind hath blown a gale all day, At evening it hath died away.
On the deck the Rover takes his stand, So dark it is they see no land.
Quoth Sir Ralph, “It will be lighter soon, For there is the dawn of the rising Moon.
” “Canst hear,” said one, “the breakers roar? For methinks we should be near the shore.
” “Now, where we are I cannot tell, But I wish we could hear the Inchcape Bell.
” They hear no sound, the swell is strong, Though the wind hath fallen they drift along; Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock, “Oh Christ! It is the Inchcape Rock!” Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair, He curst himself in his despair; The waves rush in on every side, The ship is sinking beneath the tide.
But even is his dying fear, One dreadful sound could the Rover hear; A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell, The Devil below was ringing his knell.
Written by Robert Southey | Create an image from this poem

Ode Written On The First Of January

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

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.