Robert Southey


English Poet Laureate of the Romantic school tradition

Author Quotes

It would please you to see such a display of literary wealth which is at once the pride of my eye, and the joy of my heart, and the food of my mind; indeed, more than metaphorically meat, drink, and clothing, to me and mine. I believe that no one in my station was ever so rich before, and I am sure that no one in my station had ever a more thorough enjoyment of riches of any kind, or in any way. It is more delightful for me to live with books than with men, even with all the relish which I have for such society as is worth having.

O Reader! hast thou ever stood to see The Holly-tree? The eye that contemplates it well perceives Its glossy leaves Ordered by an Intelligence so wise As might confound the Atheist's sophistries.

The solitary Bee Whose buzzing was the only sound of life, Flew there on restless wing, Seeking in vain one blossom where to fix.

Three things a wise man will not trust, The wind, the sunshine of an April day, And woman's plighted faith.

Will ye believe the wonders of the ocean? how its shoals sprang from the wave, like flashing light; .. took wing, and, twinkling with a silver glitterance, flew through the air and sunshine? yet were they to sight less wondrous than the tribe who swam, following like fowlers, with uplifted eye, their falling quarry... language cannot paint their splendid tints! though in blue ocean seen, blue, darkly, deeply, beautifully blue, in all its rich variety of shades, suffus'd with glowing gold.

Let no man write my epitaph; let my grave Be uninscribed, and let my memory rest Till other times are come, and other men, Who then may do me justice.

Oh, when a mother meets on high the babe she lost in infancy, hath she not then for pains and fears, the day of woe, the watchful night, for all her sorrow, all her tears, an over-payment of delight?

The three indispensable of genius are: understanding, feeling, and perseverance; the three things that enrich genius are: contentment of mind, the cherishing of good thoughts, and the exercise of memory

Tis a history Handed from ages down; a nurse's tale ? Which children, open-ey'd and mouth'd, devour; And thus as garrulous ignorance relates, We learn it and believe.

Without religion the highest endowments of intellect can only render the possessor more dangerous if he be ill disposed; if well disposed, only more unhappy.

I have heard a good story of Charles Fox. When his house was on fire, he found all efforts to save it useless, and, being a good draughtsman, he went up to the next hill to make a drawing of the fire, ? the best instance of philosophy I ever heard of.

Let us depart! the universal sun Confines not to one land his blessed beams; Nor is man rooted, like a tree, whose seed The winds on some ungenial soil have cast There, where it cannot prosper.

Our restlessness in this world seems to indicate that we are intended for a better. We have all of us a longing after happiness; and surely the Creator will gratify all the natural desires He has implanted in us.

The true one of youth's love, proving a faithful helpmate in those years when the dream of life is over, and we live in its realities.

'Tis some poor fellow's skull, said he, who fell in the great victory.

Would you who judge of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of pleasure, take this rule; whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things; in short; whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that is sin to you; however innocent it may be in itself.

I have told you of the Spaniard who always put on his spectacles when about to eat cherries, that they might look bigger and more attempting. In like manner I made the most of my enjoyment s: and through I do not cast my cares away, I pack them in as little compass as I can, and carry them as conveniently as I can for myself, and never let them annoy others.

Literature cannot be the business of a woman's life, and it ought not to be.

Philosophy is of two kinds: that which relates to conduct, and that which relates to knowledge. The first teaches us to value all things at their real worth, to be contented with little, modest in prosperity, patient in trouble, equal-minded at all times. It teaches us our duty to our neighbour and ourselves. But it is he who possesses both that is the true philosopher. The more he knows, the more he is desirous of knowing; and yet the farther he advances in knowledge the better he understands how little he can attain, and the more deeply he feels that God alone can satisfy the infinite desires of an immortal soul. To understand this is the height and perfection of philosophy.

Then more fierce The conflict grew; the din of arms, the yell Of savage rage, the shriek of agony, The groan of death, commingled in one sound Of undistinguish'd horrors.

To a resolute mind, wishing to do is the first step toward doing. But if we do not wish to do a thing it becomes impossible.

Write poetry for its own sake ? not in a spirit of emulation, and not with a view to celebrity; the less you aim at that the more likely you will be to deserve and finally to obtain it.

If you would be pungent, be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams - the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.

Live as long as you may, the first twenty years are the longest half of your life. They appear so while they are passing; they seem to have been so when we look back on them; and they take up more room in our memory than all the years that succeed them.

So I told them in rhyme, for of rhymes I had store.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Birth Date
Death Date

English Poet Laureate of the Romantic school tradition