49 Total Quotes

Robert Southey Quotes Page 2

How little do they see what is, who frame their hasty judgments upon that which seems.
Robert Southey
#English Poet

It is not for man to rest in absolute contentment. He is born to hopes and aspirations as the sparks fly upward, unless he has brutalized his nature and quenched the spirit of immortality which is his portion.
Robert Southey
#Dreams

Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live; Not where I love, but where I am, I die.
Robert Southey
#English Poet

No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are throughout persuaded of each other's worth.
Robert Southey
#Quote of the Day #Friends Or Friendship #Editor's Pick #English Poet

It is with words as with sunbeams - the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.
Robert Southey
#English Poet

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.
Robert Southey
#Short #Birthday

Small is the new-born plant scarce seen Amid the soft encircling green, Where yonder budding acorn rears, Just o'er the waving grass, its tender head: Slow pass along the train of years, And on the growing plant, their dews and showers they shed. Anon it rears aloft its giant form, And spreads its broad-brown arms to meet the storm. Beneath its boughs far shadowing o'er the plain, From summer suns, repair the grateful village train. Nor BEDFORD will my friend survey The book of Nature with unheeding eye; For never beams the rising orb of day, For never dimly dies the refluent ray, But as the moralizer marks the sky, He broods with strange delight upon futurity. And we must muse my friend! maturer years Arise, and other Hopes and other Fears, For we have past the pleasant plains of Youth. Oh pleasant plains! that we might stray For ever o'er your faery ground-- For ever roam your vales around, Nor onward tempt the dangerous way-- For oh--what numerous foes assail The Traveller, from that chearful vale! With toil and heaviness opprest Seek not the flowery bank for rest, Tho' there the bowering woodbine spread Its fragrant shelter o'er thy head, Tho' Zephyr there should linger long To hear the sky-lark's wildly-warbled song, There heedless Youth shalt thou awake The vengeance of the coiling snake! Tho' fairly smiles the vernal mead To tempt thy pilgrim feet, proceed Hold on thy steady course aright, Else shalt thou wandering o'er the pathless plain, When damp and dark descends the night Shivering and shelterless, repent in vain. And yet--tho' Dangers lurk on every side Receive not WORLDLY WISDOM for thy guide! Beneath his care thou wilt not know The throb of unavailing woe, No tear shall tremble in thine eye Thy breast shall struggle with no sigh, He will security impart, But he will apathize thy heart! Ah no! Fly Fly that fatal foe, Virtue shall shrink from his torpedo grasp-- For not more fatal thro' the Wretches veins Benumb'd in Death's cold pains Creeps the chill poison of the deadly asp. Serener joys my friend await Maturer manhood's steady state. The wild brook bursting from its source Meanders on its early course, Delighting there with winding way Amid the vernal vale to stray, Emerging thence more widely spread It foams along its craggy bed, And shatter'd with the mighty shock Rushes from the giddy rock-- Hurl'd headlong o'er the dangerous steep On runs the current to the deep, And gathering waters as it goes Serene and calm the river flows, Diffuses plenty o'er the smiling coast, Rolls on its stately waves and is in ocean lost.
Robert Southey
#Birthday

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.
Robert Southey
#Birthday

Yet one Song more! one high and solemn strain Ere PAEAN! on thy temple's ruined wall I hang the silent harp: there may its strings, When the rude tempest shakes the aged pile, Make melancholy music. One Song more! PENATES! hear me! for to you I hymn The votive lay. Whether, as sages deem, Ye dwell in the inmost Heaven, the COUNSELLORS Of JOVE; or if, SUPREME OF DEITIES, All things are yours, and in your holy train JOVE proudly ranks, and JUNO, white arm'd Queen. And wisest of Immortals, aweful Maid ATHENIAN PALLAS. Venerable Powers! Hearken your hymn of praise! tho' from your rites Estranged, and exiled from your altars long, I have not ceased to love you, HOUSEHOLD GODS! In many a long and melancholy hour Of solitude and sorrow, has my heart With earnest longings prayed to rest at length Beside your hallowed hearth--for PEACE is there! Yes I have loved you long. I call on you Yourselves to witness with what holy joy, Shunning the polished mob of human kind, I have retired to watch your lonely fires And commune with myself. Delightful hours That gave mysterious pleasure, made me know All the recesses of my wayward heart, Taught me to cherish with devoutest care Its strange unworldly feelings, taught me too The best of lessons--to respect myself! Nor have I ever ceas'd to reverence you DOMESTIC DEITIES! from the first dawn Of reason, thro' the adventurous paths of youth Even to this better day, when on mine ear The uproar of contending nations sounds, But like the passing wind--and wakes no pulse To tumult. When a child--(for still I love To dwell with fondness on my childish years, Even as that Persian favorite would retire From the court's dangerous pageantry and pomp, To gaze upon his shepherd garb, and weep, Rememb'ring humble happiness.) When first A little one, I left my father's home, I can remember the first grief I felt, And the first painful smile that cloathed my front With feelings not its own: sadly at night I sat me down beside a stranger's hearth; And when the lingering hour of rest was come, First wet with tears my pillow. As I grew In years and knowledge, and the course of Time Developed the young feelings of my heart, When most I loved in solitude to rove Amid the woodland gloom; or where the rocks Darken'd old Avon's stream, in the ivied cave Recluse to sit and brood the future song, Yet not the less, PENATES, loved I then Your altars, not the less at evening hour Delighted by the well-trimm'd fire to sit, Absorbed in many a dear deceitful dream Of visionary joys: deceitful dreams-- Not wholly vain--for painting purest joys, They form'd to Fancy's mould her votary's heart. By Cherwell's sedgey side, and in the meads Where Isis in her calm clear stream reflects The willow's bending boughs, at earliest dawn In the noon-tide hour, and when the night-mists rose, I have remembered you: and when the noise Of loud intemperance on my lonely ear Burst with loud tumult, as recluse I sat, Pondering on loftiest themes of man redeemed From servitude, and vice, and wretchedness, I blest you, HOUSEHOLD GODS! because I loved Your peaceful altars and serener rites. Nor did I cease to reverence you, when driven Amid the jarring crowd, an unfit man To mingle with the world; still, still my heart Sighed for your sanctuary, and inly pined; And loathing human converse, I have strayed Where o'er the sea-beach chilly howl'd the blast, And gaz'd upon the world of waves, and wished That I were far beyond the Atlantic deep, In woodland haunts--a sojourner with PEACE. Not idly fabled they the Bards inspired, Who peopled Earth with Deities. They trod The wood with reverence where the DRYADS dwelt; At day's dim dawn or evening's misty hour They saw the OREADS on their mountain haunts. And felt their holy influence, nor impure Of thought--or ever with polluted hands Touched they without a prayer the NAIAD'S spring; Yet was their influence transient; such brief awe Inspiring as the thunder's long loud peal Strikes to the feeble spirit. HOUSEHOLD GODS, Not such your empire! in your votaries' breasts No momentary impulse ye awake-- Nor fleeting like their local energies, The deep devotion that your fanes impart. O ye whom YOUTH has wilder'd on your way, Or VICE with fair-mask'd foulness, or the lure Of FAME that calls ye to her crowded paths With FOLLY's rattle, to your HOUSEHOLD GODS Return! for not in VICE's gay abodes, Not in the unquiet unsafe halls of FAME Does HAPPINESS abide! O ye who weep Much for the many miseries of Mankind, More for their vices, ye whose honest eyes Frown on OPPRESSION,--ye whose honest hearts Beat high when FREEDOM sounds her dread tocsin;-- O ye who quit the path of peaceful life Crusading for mankind--a spaniel race That lick the hand that beats them, or tear all Alike in frenzy--to your HOUSEHOLD GODS Return, for by their altars VIRTUE dwells And HAPPINESS with her; for by their fires TRANQUILLITY in no unsocial mood Sits silent, listening to the pattering shower; For, so SUSPICION sleep not at the gate Of WISDOM,--FALSEHOOD shall not enter there. As on the height of some huge eminence, Reach'd with long labour, the way-faring man Pauses awhile, and gazing o'er the plain With many a sore step travelled, turns him then Serious to contemplate the onward road, And calls to mind the comforts of his home, And sighs that he has left them, and resolves To stray no more: I on my way of life Muse thus PENATES, and with firmest faith Devote myself to you. I will not quit To mingle with the mob your calm abodes, Where, by the evening hearth CONTENTMENT sits And hears the cricket chirp; where LOVE delights To dwell, and on your altars lays his torch That burns with no extinguishable flame. Hear me ye POWERS benignant! there is one Must be mine inmate--for I may not chuse But love him. He is one whom many wrongs Have sicken'd of the world. There was a time When he would weep to hear of wickedness And wonder at the tale; when for the opprest He felt a brother's pity, to the oppressor A good man's honest anger. His quick eye Betray'd each rising feeling, every thought Leapt to his tongue. When first among mankind He mingled, by himself he judged of them, And loved and trusted them, to Wisdom deaf, And took them to his bosom. FALSEHOOD met Her unsuspecting victim, fair of front, And lovely as Apega's sculptured form, Like that false image caught his warm embrace And gored his open breast. The reptile race Clung round his bosom, and with viper folds Encircling, stung the fool who fostered them. His mother was SIMPLICITY, his sire BENEVOLENCE; in earlier days he bore His father's name; the world who injured him Call him MISANTHROPY. I may not chuse But love him, HOUSEHOLD GODS! for we were nurst In the same school. PENATES! some there are Who say, that not in the inmost heaven ye dwell, Gazing with eye remote on all the ways Of man, his GUARDIAN GODS; wiselier they deem A dearer interest to the human race Links you, yourselves the SPIRITS OF THE DEAD. No mortal eye may pierce the invisible world, No light of human reason penetrate That depth where Truth lies hid. Yet to this faith My heart with instant sympathy assents; And I would judge all systems and all faiths By that best touchstone, from whose test DECEIT Shrinks like the Arch-Fiend at Ithuriel's spear, And SOPHISTRY'S gay glittering bubble bursts, As at the spousals of the Nereid's son, When that false Florimel, by her prototype Display'd in rivalry, with all her charms Dissolved away. Nor can the halls of Heaven Give to the human soul such kindred joy, As hovering o'er its earthly haunts it feels, When with the breeze it wantons round the brow Of one beloved on earth; or when at night In dreams it comes, and brings with it the DAYS And JOYS that are no more, Or when, perchance With power permitted to alleviate ill And fit the sufferer for the coming woe, Some strange presage the SPIRIT breathes, and fills The breast with ominous fear, and disciplines For sorrow, pours into the afflicted heart The balm of resignation, and inspires With heavenly hope. Even as a Child delights To visit day by day the favorite plant His hand has sown, to mark its gradual growth, And watch all anxious for the promised flower; Thus to the blessed spirit, in innocence And pure affections like a little child, Sweet will it be to hover o'er the friends Beloved; then sweetest if, as Duty prompts, With earthly care we in their breasts have sown The seeds of Truth and Virtue, holy flowers Whose odour reacheth Heaven. When my sick Heart, (Sick with hope long delayed, than, which no care Presses the crush'd heart heavier from itself Seeks the best comfort, often have I deemed That thou didst witness every inmost thought SEWARD! my dear dead friend! for not in vain, Oh early summon'd in thy heavenly course! Was thy brief sojourn here: me didst thou leave With strengthen'd step to follow the right path Till we shall meet again. Meantime I soothe The deep regret of Nature, with belief, My EDMUND! that thine eye's celestial ken Pervades me now, marking no mean joy The movements of the heart that loved thee well! Such feelings Nature prompts, and hence your rites DOMESTIC GODS! arose. When for his son With ceaseless grief Syrophanes bewail'd, Mourning his age left childless, and his wealth Heapt for an alien, he with fixed eye Still on the imaged marble of the dead Dwelt, pampering sorrow. Thither from his wrath A safe asylum, fled the offending slave, And garlanded the statue and implored His young lost Lord to save: Remembrance then Softened the father, and he loved to see The votive wreath renewed, and the rich smoke Curl from the costly censer slow and sweet. From Egypt soon the sorrow-soothing rites Divulging spread; before your idol forms By every hearth the blinded Pagan knelt, Pouring his prayers to these, and offering there Vain sacrifice or impious, and sometimes With human blood your sanctuary defil'd: Till the first BRUTUS, tyrant-conquering chief, Arose; he first the impious rites put down, He fitliest, who for FREEDOM lived and died, The friend of humankind. Then did your feasts Frequent recur and blameless; and when came The solemn festival, whose happiest rites Emblem'd EQUALITY, the holiest truth! Crown'd with gay garlands were your statues seen, To you the fragrant censer smok'd, to you The rich libation flow'd: vain sacrifice! For nor the poppy wreath nor fruits nor wine. Ye ask, PENATES! nor the altar cleans'd With many a mystic form; ye ask the heart Made pure, and by domestic Peace and Love Hallowed to you. Hearken your hymn of praise, PENATES! to your shrines I come for rest, There only to be found. Often at eve, Amid my wanderings I have seen far off The lonely light that spake of comfort there, It told my heart of many a joy of home, And my poor heart was sad. When I have gazed From some high eminence on goodly vales And cots and villages embower'd below, The thought would rise that all to me was strange Amid the scene so fair, nor one small spot Where my tir'd mind might rest and call it home, There is a magic in that little word; It is a mystic circle that surrounds Comforts and Virtues never known beyond The hallowed limit. Often has my heart Ached for that quiet haven; haven'd now, I think of those in this world's wilderness Who wander on and find no home of rest Till to the grave they go! them POVERTY Hollow-eyed fiend, the child of WEALTH and POWER, Bad offspring of worse parents, aye afflicts, Cankering with her foul mildews the chill'd heart-- Them WANT with scorpion scourge drives to the den Of GUILT--them SLAUGHTER with the price of death Buys for her raven brood. Oh not on them GOD OF ETERNAL JUSTICE! not on them Let fall thy thunder! HOUSEHOLD DEITIES! Then only shall be Happiness on earth When Man shall feel your sacred power, and love Your tranquil joys; then shall the city stand A huge void sepulchre, and rising fair Amid the ruins of the palace pile The Olive grow, there shall the TREE OF PEACE Strike its roots deep and flourish. This the state Shall bless the race redeemed of Man, when WEALTH And POWER and all their hideous progeny Shall sink annihilate, and all mankind Live in the equal brotherhood of LOVE. Heart-calming hope and sure! for hitherward Tend all the tumults of the troubled world, Its woes, its wisdom, and its wickedness Alike: so he hath will'd whose will is just. Meantime, all hoping and expecting all In patient faith, to you, DOMESTIC GODS! I come, studious of other lore than song, Of my past years the solace and support: Yet shall my Heart remember the past years With honest pride, trusting that not in vain Lives the pure song of LIBERTY and TRUTH.
Robert Southey
#God

Tho' now no more the musing ear Delights to listen to the breeze That lingers o'er the green wood shade, I love thee Winter! well. Sweet are the harmonies of Spring, Sweet is the summer's evening gale, Pleasant the autumnal winds that shake The many-colour'd grove. And pleasant to the sober'd soul The silence of the wintry scene, When Nature shrouds her in her trance Not undelightful now to roam The wild heath sparkling on the sight; Not undelightful now to pace The forest's ample rounds; And see the spangled branches shine, And mark the moss of many a hue That varies the old tree's brown bark, Or o'er the grey stone spreads. The cluster'd berries claim the eye O'er the bright hollies gay green leaves, The ivy round the leafless oak Clasps its full foliage close. So VIRTUE diffident of strength Clings to RELIGION'S firmer aid, And by RELIGION'S aid upheld Endures calamity. Nor void of beauties now the spring, Whose waters hid from summer sun Have sooth'd the thirsty pilgrim's ear With more than melody. The green moss shines with icey glare, The long grass bends its spear-like form, And lovely is the silvery scene When faint the sunbeams smile. Reflection too may love the hour When Nature, hid in Winter's grave, No more expands the bursting bud Or bids the flowret bloom. For Nature soon in Spring's best charms Shall rise reviv'd from Winter's grave. Again expand the bursting bud, And bid the flowret bloom.
Robert Southey
#Religious

The Raven croak'd as she sate at her meal, And the Old Woman knew what he said, And she grew pale at the Raven's tale, And sicken'd and went to her bed. 'Now fetch me my children, and fetch them with speed,' The Old Woman of Berkeley said, 'The Monk my son, and my daughter the Nun, Bid them hasten or I shall be dead.' The Monk her son, and her daughter the Nun, Their way to Berkeley went, And they have brought with pious thought The holy sacrament. The Old Woman shriek'd as they enter'd her door, And she cried with a voice of despair, 'Now take away the sacrament, For its presence I cannot bear!' Her lip it trembled with agony, The sweat ran down her brow, 'I have tortures in store for evermore, But spare me, my children, now!' Away they sent the sacrament, The fit it left her weak, She look's at her children with ghastly eyes, And faintly struggled to speak. 'All kind of sin have I rioted in, And the judgement now must be, But I secured my children's souls, Oh! pray, my children, for me! 'I have 'nointed myself with infant's fat, The fiends have been my slaves, From sleeping babes I have suck'd the breath, And breaking by charms the sleep of death, I have call'd the dead from their graves. 'And the Devil will fetch me now in fire, My witchcrafts to atone; And I who have troubled the dead man's grave Shall never have rest in my own. 'Bless, I entreat, my winding sheet, My children, I beg of you; And with holy water sprinkle my shroud, And sprinkle my coffin, too. 'And let me be chain'd in my coffin of stone, And fasten it strong, I implore, With iron bars, and with three chains, Chain it to the church floor. 'And bless the chains and sprinkle them, And let fifty Priests stand round, Who night and day the mass may say Where I lie on the ground. 'And see that fifty Choristers Beside the bier attend me, And day and night by the tapers' light, With holy hymns defend me. 'Let the church bells all, both great and small, Be toll'd by night and day, To drive from thence the fiends who come To bear my body away. `And ever have the church door barr'd After the even-song; And I beseech you, children dear, Let the bars and bolts be strong. 'And let this be three days and nights My wretched corpse to save; Till the fourth morning keep me safe, And then I may rest in my grave.' The Old Woman of Berkeley laid her down, And her eyes grew deadly dim, Short came her breath, and the struggle of death Did loosen every limb. They blest the old woman's winding sheet With rites and prayers due, With holy water they sprinkled her shroud, And they sprinkled her coffin too. And they chain'd her in her coffin of stone, And with iron barr'd it down, And in the church with three strong chains The chain'd it to the ground. And they blest the chains and sprinkled them, And fifty Priests stood round, By night and day the mass to say Where she lay on the ground. And fifty sacred Choristers Beside the bier attend her, Who day and night by the taper's light Should with holy hymns defend her. To see the Priests and Choristers It was a goodly sight, Each holding, as it were a staff, A taper burning bright. And the church bells all, both great and small, Did toll so loud and long; And they have barr'd the church door hard, After the even-song. And the first night the tapers' light Burnt steadily and clear, But they without a hideous rout Of angry fiends could hear; A hideous roar at the church door Like a long thunder peal; And the Priests they pray'd, and the Choristers sung Louder in fearful zeal. Loud toll'd the bell, the Priests pray'd well, The tapers they burnt bright, The Monk her son, and her daughter the Nun, They told their beads all night. The cock he crew, the Fiends they flew From the voice of the morning away; Then undisturb'd the Choristers sing, And the fifty Priests they pray; As they had sung and pray'd all night, They pray'd and sung all day. The second night the tapers' light Burnt dismally and blue, And every one saw his neighbour's face Like a dead man's face to view. And yells and cries without arise That the stoutest heart might shock, And a deafening roar like a cataract pouring Over a mountain rock. The Monk and Nun they told their beads As fast as they could tell, And aye as louder grew the noise The faster went the bell. Louder and louder the Choristers sung As they trembled more and more, And the Priests as they pray'd to heaven for aid, They smote their breasts full sore. The cock he crew, the Fiends they flew From the voice of the morning away; Then undisturb'd the Choristers sing, And the fifty Priests they pray; As they had sung and pray'd all night, The pray'd and sung all day. The third night came, and the tapers' flame A frightful stench did make; And they burnt as though they had been dipt In the burning brimstone lake. And the loud commotion, like the rushing of ocean, Grew momently more and more; And strokes as of a battering ram Did shake the strong church door. The bellmen, they for very fear Could toll the bell no longer; And still as louder grew the strokes Their fear it grew the stronger. The Monk and Nun forgot their beads, They fell on the ground in dismay; There was not a single Saint in heaven To whom they did not pray. And the Choristers' song, which late was so strong, Falter'd with consternation, For the church did rock as an earthquake shock Uplifed its foundation. And a sound was heard like the trumpet's blast, That shall one day wake the dead; The strong church door could bear no more, And the bolts and the bars they fled; And the tapers' light was extinguish'd quite, And the Choristers faintly sung, And the Priests dismay'd, panted and pray'd, And on all the Saints in heaven for aid They call'd with trembling tongue. And in He came with eyes of flame, The Devil to fetch the dead, And all the church with his presence glow'd Like a fiery furnace red. He laid his hand on the iron chains, And like flax they moulder'd asunder, And the coffin lid, which was barr'd so firm, He burst with his voice of thunder. And he bade the Old Woman of Berkeley rise, And some with her Master away; A cold sweat started on that cold corpse, At the voice she was forced to obey. She rose on her feet in her winding sheet, Her dead flesh quiver'd with fear, And a groan like that which the Old Woman gave Never did mortal hear. She follow'd her Master to the church door, There stood a black horse there; His breath was red like furnace smoke, His eyes like a meteor's glare. The Devil he flung her on the horse, And he leapt up before, And away like the lightning's speed they went, And she was seen no more. They saw her no more, but her cries For four miles round they could hear, And children at rest at their mothers' breast Started, and scream'd with fear.
Robert Southey
#Poems about Women #Age And Aging

Weary way-wanderer languid and sick at heart Travelling painfully over the rugged road, Wild-visag'd Wanderer! ah for thy heavy chance! Sorely thy little one drags by thee bare-footed, Cold is the baby that hangs at thy bending back Meagre and livid and screaming its wretchedness. Woe-begone mother, half anger, half agony, As over thy shoulder thou lookest to hush the babe, Bleakly the blinding snow beats in thy hagged face. Thy husband will never return from the war again, Cold is thy hopeless heart even as Charity-- Cold are thy famish'd babes--God help thee, widow'd One!
Robert Southey
#Soldier

Glad as the weary traveller tempest-tost To reach secure at length his native coast, Who wandering long o'er distant lands has sped, The night-blast wildly howling round his head, Known all the woes of want, and felt the storm Of the bleak winter parch his shivering form; The journey o'er and every peril past Beholds his little cottage-home at last, And as he sees afar the smoke curl slow, Feels his full eyes with transport overflow: So from the scene where Death and Anguish reign, And Vice and Folly drench with blood the plain, Joyful I turn, to sing how Woman's praise Avail'd again Jerusalem to raise, Call'd forth the sanction of the Despot's nod, And freed the nation best-belov'd of God. Darius gives the feast: to Persia's court, Awed by his will, the obedient throng resort, Attending Satraps swell the Prince's pride, And vanquish'd Monarchs grace their Conqueror's side. No more the Warrior wears the garb of war, Sharps the strong steel, or mounts the scythed car; No more Judaea's sons dejected go, And hang the head and heave the sigh of woe. From Persia's rugged hills descend the train. From where Orontes foams along the plain, From where Choaspes rolls his royal waves, And India sends her sons, submissive slaves. Thy daughters Babylon to grace the feast Weave the loose robe, and paint the flowery vest, With roseate wreaths they braid the glossy hair. They tinge the cheek which Nature form'd so fair, Learn the soft step, the soul-subduing glance, Melt in the song, and swim adown the dance. Exalted on the Monarch's golden throne In royal state the fair Apame shone; Her form of majesty, her eyes of fire Chill with respect, or kindle with desire. The admiring multitude her charms adore, And own her worthy of the crown she wore. Now on his couch reclin'd Darius lay, Tir'd with the toilsome pleasures of the day; Without Judaea's watchful sons await To guard the sleeping pageant of the state. Three youths were these of Judah's royal race, Three youths whom Nature dower'd with every grace, To each the form of symmetry she gave, And haughty Genius curs'd each favorite slave; These fill'd the cup, around the Monarch kept, Serv'd as he spake, and guarded whilst he slept. Yet oft for Salem's hallowed towers laid low The sigh would heave, the unbidden tear would flow; And when the dull and wearying round of Power Allowed Zorobabel one vacant hour, He lov'd on Babylon's high wall to roam, And stretch the gaze towards his distant home, Or on Euphrates' willowy banks reclin'd Hear the sad harp moan fitful to the wind. As now the perfum'd lamps stream wide their light, And social converse chears the livelong night, Thus spake Zorobabel, "too long in vain "For Sion desolate her sons complain; "In anguish worn the joyless years lag slow, "And these proud conquerors mock their captive's woe. "Whilst Cyrus triumph'd here in victor state "A brighter prospect chear'd our exil'd fate, "Our sacred walls again he bade us raise, "And to Jehovah rear the pile of praise. "Quickly these fond hopes faded from our eyes, "As the frail sun that gilds the wintry skies, "And spreads a moment's radiance o'er the plain, "Soon hid by clouds that dim the scene again. "Opprest by Artaxerxes' jealous reign "We vainly pleaded here, and wept in vain. "Now when Darius, chief of mild command, "Bids joy and pleasure fill the festive land, "Still shall we droop the head in sullen grief, "And sternly silent shun to seek relief? "What if amid the Monarch's mirthful throng "Our harps should echo to the chearful song? "Fair is the occasion," thus the one replied, "And now let all our tuneful skill be tried. "Whilst the gay courtiers quaff the smiling bowl, "And wine's strong fumes inspire the madden'd soul, "Where all around is merriment, be mine "To strike the lute, and praise the power of Wine. "And whilst" his friend replied in state alone "Lord of the earth Darius fills the throne, "Be yours the mighty power of Wine to sing, "My lute shall sound the praise of Persia's King." To them Zorobabel, on themes like these "Seek ye the Monarch of Mankind to please; "To Wine superior or to Power's strong arms, "Be mine to sing resistless Woman's charms. "To him victorious in the rival lays "Shall just Darius give the meed of praise; "The purple robe his honor'd frame shall fold, "The beverage sparkle in his cup of gold; "A golden couch support his bed of rest, "The chain of honor grace his favor'd breast; "His the soft turban, his the car's array "O'er Babylon's high wall to wheel its way; "And for his wisdom seated on the throne, "For the KING'S COUSIN shall the Bard be known." Intent they meditate the future lay, And watch impatient for the dawn of day. The morn rose clear, and shrill were heard the flute, The cornet, sackbut, dulcimer, and lute; To Babylon's gay streets the throng resort, Swarm thro' the gates, and fill the festive court. High on his throne Darius tower'd in pride, The fair Apame grac'd the Sovereign's side; And now she smil'd, and now with mimic frown Placed
Robert Southey
#Poems about Women

And I was once like this! that glowing cheek Was mine, those pleasure-sparkling eyes, that brow Smooth as the level lake, when not a breeze Dies o'er the sleeping surface! twenty years Have wrought strange alteration! Of the friends Who once so dearly prized this miniature, And loved it for its likeness, some are gone To their last home; and some, estranged in heart, Beholding me with quick-averted glance Pass on the other side! But still these hues Remain unalter'd, and these features wear The look of Infancy and Innocence. I search myself in vain, and find no trace Of what I was: those lightly-arching lines Dark and o'erhanging now; and that mild face Settled in these strong lineaments!--There were Who form'd high hopes and flattering ones of thee Young Robert! for thine eye was quick to speak Each opening feeling: should they not have known When the rich rainbow on the morning cloud Reflects its radiant dies, the husbandman Beholds the ominous glory sad, and fears Impending storms? they augur'd happily, For thou didst love each wild and wonderous tale Of faery fiction, and thine infant tongue Lisp'd with delight the godlike deeds of Greece And rising Rome; therefore they deem'd forsooth That thou shouldst tread PREFERMENT'S pleasant path. Ill-judging ones! they let thy little feet Stray in the pleasant paths of POESY, And when thou shouldst have prest amid the crowd There didst thou love to linger out the day Loitering beneath the laurels barren shade. SPIRIT of SPENSER! was the wanderer wrong? This little picture was for ornament Design'd, to shine amid the motley mob Of Fashion and of Folly,--is it not More honour'd by this solitary song?
Robert Southey
#Nature