Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Stanzas Written in Lady Lonsdale’s Album, at Lowther Castle

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.


Stanzas Written in Lady Lonsdale’s Album, at Lowther Castle

By Robert Southey (1774–1843)

SOMETIMES in youthful years,

When in some ancient ruin I have stood,

Alone and musing, till with quiet tears

I felt my cheeks bedewed,

A melancholy thought hath made me grieve

For this our age, and humbled me in mind,

That it should pass away, and leave

No monuments behind.

Not for themselves alone

Our fathers lived; nor with a niggard hand

Raised they the fabrics of enduring stone,

Which yet adorn the land:

Their piles, memorials of the mighty dead,

Survive them still, majestic in decay;

But ours are like ourselves, I said,

The creatures of a day.

With other feelings now,

Lowther! have I beheld thy stately walls,

Thy pinnacles, and broad, embattled brow,

And hospitable halls.

The sun those wide-spread battlements shall crest,

And silent years unharming shall go by,

Till centuries in their course invest

Thy towers with sanctity.

But thou the while shalt bear

To after-times an old and honored name,

And to remote posterity declare

Thy founder’s virtuous fame.

Fair structure, worthy the triumphant age

Of glorious England’s opulence and power!

Peace be thy lasting heritage,

And happiness thy dower!