1843 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Southey

William Lisle Bowles, "Epitaph on Robert Southey" 1843; Poems (1855) 2:322-23.



Christian! for none who scorns that holy name
Can gaze with honest eyes on Southey's fame;
Christian! bow down thy head in humble fear,
And think what God-given powers lie silenced here:
Wit, judgment, memory, patience unsubdued,
Conception vast, and pious fortitude.
Learning possessed no steeps, and truth no shore,
Beyond his step to tread, his wing to soar;
His was the historian's pen, the poet's lyre,
The churchman's ardour, and the patriot's fire;
While fireside charities, Heaven's gentlest dower,
Lent genius all their warmth and all their power.
O Church and State of England! thine was he
In living fame, thine be his memory!
Thou saw'st him live, in faith expire,
Go, bid thy sons to follow, and admire!