1197. Robert Southey to William Taylor, 27 June 1806 

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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1197. Robert Southey to William Taylor, 27 June 1806 ⁠* 

Keswick. June 27. 1806.

[This letter is chiefly occupied with 350 lines of the ‘Curse of Kehama’, to which the following note is appended.]

‘The Curse’ wants force and appropriate dignity, and suits a witch better than the man-almighty who is to endanger the Trimourtee and drag the gods of the Sorgon through Hell (Padalon) at his chariot-wheels. [1]  Encourage me if you can. I suspect that by rhyming only occasionally I shall please nobody, and in truth there is no reason why the rhyme should be used in one place and not in another. You, however, know how little I care for present effect. Try your own ear, and give your opinion as a representative of those who are to read it some centuries hence. You shall have another sheet of ‘Kehama’ as soon as I can get it copied, for which I have not time myself. I shall very likely finish it this winter, instead of reviewing. God bless you! I had more to say, but must wait another opportunity and a clear sheet of paper.

Robert Southey


Notes

* MS: MS untraced; text is taken from J. W. Robberds (ed.), A Memoir of the Life and Writings of the Late William Taylor of Norwich, 2 vols (London, 1843)
Previously published: J. W. Robberds (ed.), A Memoir of the Life and Writings of the Late William Taylor of Norwich, 2 vols (London, 1843), II, pp. 139–140. BACK

[1] Referring to the plot of The Curse of Kehama (1810). Southey also sent drafts of the poem to Wynn and to Landor. See volume 4 of Robert Southey: Poetical Works 1793–1810, gen. ed. Lynda Pratt, 5 vols (London, 2004). BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013