3770. Robert Southey to [Samuel Holworthy], [24 December] 1821

3770. Robert Southey to [Samuel Holworthy], [24 December] 1821⁠* 

Keswick. Christmas Eve. 1821

Dear Sir

Mr W[MS cut]<Wordsworth has this day> [1] ay delivered me your obliging note. When I received your little volume [2]  some months ago, I was sorry that it contained nothing which informed me to whom I might address my thanks, & express the pleasure which I derived from its perusal. It is a great satisfaction that I am now enabled so to do. The poems evidently proceed from a cultivated, amiable & well-directed mind; every reader must peruse them with respect as well as gratification, & in the authors own immediate circle they must have that interest which we attach to the faithful portrait of a friend.

It is seldom that I think of myself as a poet. “My way of life has fallen into the sere, – the yellow leaf.” [3]  – & the inclination for writing poetry has past away. But to be assured that I have not failed in my hope of conveying worthy & ennobling feelings to congenial minds would be sufficient recompense for having lived laborious days, even if the labour had not been of a kind which brings with it its own reward.

Should I ever be in your part of the country, I will certainly endeavour to find you at Croxall Parsonage. And if you ever visit our Land of Lakes, you will I trust give me an opportunity of shaking you by the hand at Keswick.

Believe me my dear Sir

yours with sincere respect

[MS missing]


* Address: To/ The xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx/ Croxall Parsonage/ near/ Lichfield
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: University of Kentucky Library. AL; 3p. (c).
Note on correspondent: Identified by the address – Holworthy was Vicar of St John the Baptist, Croxall, 1809–1839 – and by the letter’s content. BACK

[1] ‘<Wordsworth has this d’ is inserted in another hand to replace a cut portion of MS. BACK

[2] Holworthy’s Poems, by a Clergyman (1821); it included two poems addressed to Wordsworth (pp. 24–25). The presentation copy was no. 1329 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[3] Macbeth, Act 5, scene 3, lines 22–23. BACK

People mentioned

Wordsworth, William (1770–1850) (mentioned 2 times)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 2 times)