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Robert Southey
(1774 - 1843)

Southey was expelled from school because of his views in respect to social organization, democracy and absolute equality. He was to marry and settle down to be near the Coleridges in the Lake District, at Keswick (Wordsworth, of course, was their neighbor). He continued to write throughout his life. As Southey became older his political views mellowed, such that he was more the Tory than anything else. The government saw that he got a pension; and from 1813 to his death he was the Poet Laureate.

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To a Goose
You are old, father William

To a Goose

If thou didst feed on western plains of yore;
Or waddle wide with flat and flabby feet
Over some Cambrian mountainís plashy moor;
Or find in farmerís yard a safe retreat
From gipsy thieves, and foxes sly and fleet;
If thy grey quills, by lawyer guided, trace
Deeds big with ruin to some wretched race,
Or love-sick poetís sonnet, sad and sweet,
Wailing the rigour of his lady fair;
Or if, the drudge of housemaidís daily toil,
Cobwebs and dust thy pinions white besoil,
Departed Goose! I neither know nor care.
But this I know, that thou wert very fine,
Seasoníd with sage and onions, and port wine.


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© 2001 Elena and Yakov Feldman