R Southey | The Scholar | An Analytical Study


R Southey | The Scholar | An Analytical Study


R Southey | The Scholar | An Analytical Study

R Southey | The Scholar | An Analytical Study

R Southey | The Scholar | An Analytical Study

The Scholar’ is a short but fine lyric by Robert Southey in which he expresses his gratitude to the ancient poets whose works he had read and developed his skill of versification. The poem is written in four distinctive stanzas.

In the first stanza, he says that he has spent his years reading the works of those poets who are dead. Whichever book he reads he comes to the acquaintance of the teachings and wisdom of those poets. He reads their writings and makes communication of his thoughts with the dead poets. He is so much acquainted with the thoughts and teachings left by the dead poets behind them in their writings that the poet cannot forget them at any moment. That is why he says that those dead poets are his “never failing friends”.

In the second stanza, the poet admits that he takes delight, after reading their works while he is in a good mood and seeks relief while he is in a bad mood. And then he expressed his gratitude to them. This gratitude is not feigned but hones and instinctive. As he understands their works and realizes his debt to them in learning wisdom his eyes shed tears which bedew his two checks in gratitude.

In the third stanza, the poet Robert Southey says that his thoughts are also alike to the thoughts of the dead poets as he spent long past years reading their works.  But the poet is not a blind imitator of those dead poets. He studies their works and evaluates their thoughts and then he loves their virtues and condemns their faults. He reads their writings with the noble purpose of seeking instruction and catches instruction with a humble mind.

At last, in the fourth stanza, he expresses his hopes that one day or other he will die and wishes that his soul would fly to the place where the dead poets have gone. He hopes more that he, like the dead poets, will travel on through all futurity by means of his writings which generations from generations to come will read. He wishes more that he will be able to leave his name as a poet which will not be perished in the dust. In other words, he will create worth reading poetry which will keep his name alive in the future.

The gratitude that the poet has shown to the dead poets is instinctive and emotional without any feigning. It is his frank declaration of gratitude to the poets of the past. 

The lyric is written in rhyme and the rhyme scheme is- ab ab cc. The language of the poem is simple and easy to understand. In this lyric, he personifies the word ‘Dead’. The word ‘Dead’ refers to poets who are dead already. The last stanza of the poem reads like an epitaph as—

‘My hopes are with the dead anon.

My place with them will be,

And I with them shall travel on 

Through all Futurity

Yet leaving here a name, I trust 

That will not perish in the dust.’  0 0 0


Read More: Robert Frost’s Poem ‘The Mending Wall’: An Analytical Study

N. B. This article entitled ‘R Southey | The Scholar | An Analytical Study’ originally belongs to the book ‘World Poetry Criticism‘ by Menonim Menonimus. R Southey | The Scholar | An Analytical Study

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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