2340. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 5 December [1813]

2340. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 5 December [1813] ⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

I send you my historical lyrics with all their imperfections upon their head. I want to insert two stanzas – if I can please myself with them, – one which shall recapitulate the sufferings of the peninsula, – another the crimes of France. – The first of these would come in the middle of the 9th stanza, the other after the 14th. – As for the poem I have worked at it doggedly, & hope you will like it better than I do. [1]  There is good stuff in it, & that is the best I can say of it.

I have sent the Musdoc [2]  the 1st – 2 – 6 & 14th stanzas: – sufficiently connected for his purpose. My intention is to publish it on New Years day, & if I cannot get my address to the Prince ready, why it must wait for the National Inscriptions. [3] 


Sunday Dec 5.


* MS: Houghton Library, bMS Eng 265.1 (12). ALS; 1p.
Dating note: dating from content. BACK

[1] Southey’s first official poem as Poet Laureate was extremely controversial and much altered prior to publication. The final five stanzas were considered by Croker and Rickman to be inflammatory. Southey bowed to pressure and deleted them from the version published as Carmen Triumphale in a quarto of 30 pages on 1 January 1814. He incorporated the deleted stanzas into an ‘Ode Written During the Negotiations with Bonaparte’, published in the Courier, 3 February 1814. BACK

[2] i.e the Master of the King’s Music, Sir William Parsons. BACK

[3] Southey’s planned sequence on the heroes and battles of the Peninsular War. Only 18 out of 30 poems were written. BACK

People mentioned

George IV (1762–1830) (mentioned 1 time)