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

1812. Robert Southey to Henry Fox, 3rd Lord Holland, 6 October 1810 ⁠* 

Keswick. Oct 6. 1810

On the other leaf your Lordship will find the beginnings of the first eleven ballads as they stand in my copy of Escobar’s collection. [1]  Any of them which you may not happen to possess I will willingly transcribe for you.

I have advanced little more than five hundred lines in Pelayo, [2]  & at my rate of proceeding it will be three or four years before I reach the end of it. My forthcoming poem is of a totally different character. [3]  There has never been any thing like it before, & I shall not be surprized if the generality of readers never desire to see any thing like it again.

I beg my respects to Lady Holland

& am my Lord

Yrs respectfully

Robert Southey.

1. Cuydando Diego Laynez [4] 
De la mengua de su casa. –
2. Pensativo estava el Cid
viendose de pocos años.
3. Non es de sesudos homes,
ni de infançones de pra,
4. Llorando Diego Laynez
yaze sentado a la mesa.
5. Cavalga Diego Laynez
al buen rey besar la mano
6. Grande rumor se levanta
de armas gritos y vozes.
7. En Burgos està el buen Rey
assentado en su yantare.
8. Reyes Moros en Castilla
entran con grande alarido
9. Sentado està el señor rey
en su silla de respaldo.
10. De Rodrigo de Bivar
muy grande fama correa.
11. A Ximena y a Rodrigo
prendio el rey palabra y mano.

Notes

* MS: Brotherton Library, University of Leeds
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Juan de Escobar (fl. c. 1600), Romancero e Historia del Cid Ruy Diaz de Bivar; Southey owned an edition of 1632, no. 3449 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[2] The early incarnation of what became Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814). BACK

[3] The Curse of Kehama (1810). BACK

[4] The Spanish translates as: ‘1. As Diego Laínez thinks of the dishonour of his lineage; 2. The Cid was pensive, as he saw he was young of age; 3. It does not suit wise men or worthy nobles; 4. Diego Laínez weeps, as he sits at the table; 5. Diego Laínez rides to kiss his good king’s hand; 6. There rises a great noise of weapons, shouts and cries; 7. The good king is in Burgos, sitting at his midday meal; 8. Moorish kings enter Castille with loud yelling; 9. The king is sitting in his high-back chair; 10. Rodrigo de Bivar’s very great fame was spreading; 11. The king took the promises and hands of Ximena and Rodrigo’. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013