Robert Southwell, also Saint Robert Southwell

Robert
Southwell, also Saint Robert Southwell
1560
1595

English Roman Catholic Priest of the Jesuit Order, Poet, Clandestine Missionary in Post-Reformation England, hanged, drawn and quartered after being captured, tortured and convicted of high treason by Sir Richard Topcliffe

Author Quotes

Alas!' quoth he, 'but newly born in fiery heats I fry, yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I. My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns; Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns; the fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals; the metal in this furnace wrought are men's defiled souls.

Not Solomon, for all his wit, nor Samson, though he were so strong, no king nor person ever yet could 'scape, but Death laid him along.

As in hoary winter's night stood shivering in the snow, surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow; and lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near, a pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear.

Remember, man, that thou art dust! But yet, alas, but seldom I do think indeed that I must die.

Behold a silly tender babe, in freezing winter night, in homely manger trembling lies; Alas! a piteous sight.

The lopped tree in time may grow again, most naked plants renew both fruit and flower.

Do homage to thy King, and highly praise His humble pomp which He from Heaven doth bring.

The saddest birds a season find to sing, he roughest storm a calm may soon allay; thus with succeeding turns God tempereth all, that men may hope to rise yet fear to fall.

Gift better than Himself God doth not know, gift better than God no man can see; this gift doth here the giver given bestow gift to this gift let each receiver be; God is my gift, Himself He freely gave me, God's gift am I, and none but God shall have me.

This stable is a prince's court, the crib his chair of state; the beasts are parcel of his pomp, the wooden dish his plate.

Grant me grace, O god, that I my life may mend, saith I must die.

Though all the East did quake to hear of Alexander's dreadful name, and all the West likewise did fear to hear of Julius Caesar's fame,

Her eye in silence hath a speech which eye best understands.

To rise by others' fall I deem a losing gain; all states with others' ruins built to ruin run amain.

Hoist up sail while gale doth last, Tide and wind stay no man's pleasure.

We trample grass, and prize the flowers of May; yet the grass is green when the flower fades away.

I feel no care of coin; well-doing is my wealth; my mind to me an empire is, while grace affordeth health.

When Fortune smiles, I smile to think how quickly she will frown.

I often look upon a face most ugly, grisly, bare and thin; I often view the hollow place, where eyes and nose had sometimes been.

Within his crib is surest ward, this little babe will be thy guard, if thou wilt foil thy foes with joy, then flit not from this heavenly boy.

I read the label underneath, That telleth me whereto I must; I see the sentence eke that saith 'Remember, man, that thou art dust!' But yet, alas, but seldom I Do think indeed that I must die - My ancestors are turned to clay?

In Aman's pomp poor Mardocheus wept, yet God did turn his fate upon his foe; the Lazar pined while Dives' feast was kept, yet he to heaven, to hell did Dives go. We trample grass and prize the flowers of May, yet grass is green when flowers do fade away.

Lingering labors come to naught.

May never was the month of love, for May is full of flowers; but rather April, wet by kind, for love is full of showers.

My mind to me an empire is.

Author Picture
First Name
Robert
Last Name
Southwell, also Saint Robert Southwell
Birth Date
1560
Death Date
1595
Bio

English Roman Catholic Priest of the Jesuit Order, Poet, Clandestine Missionary in Post-Reformation England, hanged, drawn and quartered after being captured, tortured and convicted of high treason by Sir Richard Topcliffe