They sin who tell us love can die;
With life all other passions fly,
All others are but vanity.
. . . . .
Love is indestructible,
Its holy flame forever burneth;
From heaven it came, to heaven returneth.
. . . . .
It soweth here with toil and care,
But the harvest-time of love is there.
-The Curse of Kehama. Canto x. Stanza 10.
The first significant incident in Robert
Southey's life occurred in 1792, when Southey wrote an essay
denouncing flogging. Consequently, he was expelled from
Westminster school, and entered college in Oxford. There
he met Samuel Taylor Coleridge and published Poems in 1794
with Coleridge and Thomas Lovell. Southey began seriously
pursuing a literary career in 1801, after attempting to
study law. After 1803 he shared residence with the Colerdiges
and actively wrote for the Tory Quarterly Review, and published
Thalaba (1801-1805), Metrical Tales (1801-1805),
Madoc (1801-1805), The Curse of Kehama (1810),
History of Brazil (1810-1819), and Life of Nelson
(1813). In 1813, he was awarded Poet Laureate after Sir
Walter Scott refused the title. In 1814, he published Roderick,
the Last of the Goths. In 1821, he wrote his epic A
Vision of Judgment, which commemorated George III and
of which Byron wrote a parody. Before he died in 1843, he
wrote Life of Wesley (1820), A Tale of Paraguay
(1825), History of the Peninsular War (1832-32),
The Book of the Church (1824), Colloquies on Society
(1829), Works of Cowper (1833-1837), The Doctor
(1834-47), and was offered a baronetcy, which he declined.
Southey was known for his prose more than
his poetry. His greatest works were biographies. Aside from
his literary life, he supported Coleridge's family, Lovell's
widow, and involved himself in the French Revolution. His
hard work substituted his lack of genius, and he is known
today for his poems "The Battle of Blenheim" (1798),
"The Holly Tree" (1799), and A Vision of Judgement
"The Battle of Blenheim"
"The Holly Tree"
The Life of Nelson
A Vision of Judgement
Noyes, Russell. English
Romantic Poetry and Prose. New York: Oxford University