Love is departed, and in agony The infatuated spirit must deplore That after love no other joy can be.
My soul's an atom in the world of mind, Hurled from its center by some adverse storm; The attraction's gone, its movements that confined The impulse fled, that urged it to perform Its destined office. Wandering through the void, Each due attrition, each excitement dead, Its moral aim and action seem destroyed, And its existence, like its functions, fled. Love was the parent orb from whence it drew Its moral being, hope its active force; But Love's dear sun shall never shine anew; Nor Hope again direct my wandering course! My life is nothing to mankind!—To me Tis worse than nothing! 'Tis all agony!
During his lifetime, Robert Southey was known as one of the “Lake Poets, ” which included William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. While a student at Oxford, he planned (but never realized) with Coleridge a utopian community, which Coleridge called “Pantisocracy, ” to be established in Pennsylvania, and wrote Joan of Arc, an epic poem celebrating democracy and liberty. His sequence, Poems on the Slave Trade, expresses Southey's passionate objection to England's involvement in the capture and selling into servitude of native Africans. In 1813, he was appointed poet laureate.
I am innocent of this Blood, See ye to it!
Hold your mad hands! for ever on your plain Must the gorged vulture clog his beak with blood? For ever must your Niger's tainted flood Roll to the ravenous shark his banquet slain? Hold your mad hands! what demon prompts to rear The arm of Slaughter? on your savage shore Can hell-sprung Glory claim the feast of gore,
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Publication information: Book title: A Century of Sonnets: The Romantic-Era Revival 1750-1850. Contributors: Paula R. Feldman - Editor, Daniel Robinson - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 94.
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