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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 4: 1810-1815

1758. Robert Southey to Walter Scott, [c. 13 March 1810] ⁠* 

They sin who tell us Love can die,
With Life all other passions fly
All others are but vanity.
In heaven Ambition cannot dwell
Nor Avarice in the vaults of Hell, –
Earthly these passions, as of earth,
They perish where they have their birth.
But Love is undestructible
Its holy flame for ever burneth,
From Heaven it came, to Heaven returneth,
Too oft on earth a troubled guest
At times deceived, at times opprest,
It here is tried & purified,
And hath in Heaven its proper rest.
It soweth here with toil & care,
But the harvest-time of Love is there
Oh – when a Mother meets on high
The Babe she lost in infancy,
Hath she not then for pains & fears,
The day of woe, the xxxx anxious night,
For all her sorrow, all her tears
An overpayment of delight.

I am afraid these are good for nothing out of the Poem, [1]  – & out of place in it. Tell me what poems of mine you select, & I will see if I can mend them. [2] 


Notes

* Address: To/ Walter Scott Esqre/ Edinburgh
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: [partial] MR/ [illegible]/ 13
MS: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Previously published: A Catalogue of the Collection of Autographs Formed by Ferdinand Julius Dreer, 2 vols (Philadephia, Pennsylvania, 1890–1893), II, p. 127 [in part]. BACK

[1] The lines were extracted from The Curse of Kehama (1810), Book 10, lines 150–171. Southey had sent them to Scott for the Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1808, 1.2 (1810), xxxi. BACK

[2] Scott selected the eclogue ‘The Alderman’s Funeral’, the ballads ‘King Ramiro’ and ‘Queen Orraca’, and ‘The Enchantress’ (another extract from Kehama (1810), Book 11, lines 27–112); see Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1808, 1.2 (1810), i–xiii, xlvi–xlviii. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013