There Mr Bedford is the work of an ill-spent morning; – & now you
may send Sir William Parsons Mus:
Doc: which you like, – & do what you like with the other. 
23 Dec. 1816.
The Mus: Doc: is accommodated with regular metre & short
One day of dreadful occupation more
Ere Englands gallant ships
Shall, of their beauty, pomp & power disrobed,
Like seabirds on the sunny main
Rock idly in the port. 
One day of dreadful occupation more!
A work of righteousness,
Yea of sublimest mercy must be done!
England will break the oppressors chain
And set the captives free.
Red Cross of England whom all shores have seen
Thou sacred banner of the glorious Isle,
Known wheresoever keel hath cut
The navigable deep!
Neer didst thou float more proudly on the storm
Of havoc & of death,
Then when resisting fiercely but in vain,
Algiers her moony standard 
And signed the Conqueror’s law.
Oh if the Grave were sentient, as these Moors
Hold in their vain belief, 
And joy could reach the innumerable dead
Who in the Grave alone found rest
From bondage & from pain; –
Sure their rejoicing dust upon that day
Had heaved the oppressive soil;
And earth been shaken like the Mosques & Towers
When Exmouth on those guilty walls
His fiery vengeance sent.
Seldom hath Victory given a joy like this, –
When the delivered slave
Revisits once again his own dear home,
And tells of all his sufferings past,
And blesses Englands name.
Far – far & wide the happiness extends
Oer all the Italian shores;
Sardinian mothers pay their vows fulfilld;
And hymns are heard upon thy banks
Churches will blaze with light, & ring with praise,
And purer strains will rise
From many an overflowing heart to Heaven,
Nor in those prayers of gratitude
Shall England be forgot.
* Address: [deletion and readdress in
another hand] To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer/
Stafford Row/ Pimlico
Postmarks: 7 o’Clock/ 26 DE/ 1816 N.T; Two Py Po/
Unpaid/ Bge St We
Endorsements: 23 Decr. 1816./ With Ode
for 1817; for Ltr of 23 Decr 1816
Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25. ALS; 5p.
 Southey was forwarding, via Bedford, verses for his
Laureate New Year Ode, so that they might be set to music for performance at court
by Sir William Parsons, the Master of the King’s Music (these performances had
actually been suspended since 1810). He had previously sent verses on the
bombardment of Algiers in his letter to Bedford of 13 December 1816 (Letter 2877);
in this letter he sends an alternative set. BACK
 Ode: ‘1817’ inserted after
in another hand. BACK
 On 27
August 1816, in an attempt to put an end to piracy in the Mediterranean and to
the enslavement of captured Europeans, an Anglo-Dutch fleet under the command
of Admiral Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth (1757–1833; DNB)
bombarded the port of Algiers. The action caused the Dey of Algiers to release
about 1200 slaves and to sign a treaty undertaking to end the
 Algiers was theoretically part of the Ottoman Empire (though in practice
independent) and flew the red Ottoman flag, decorated with a crescent
reference to the Islamic belief that the grave constitutes the ‘third stage’ of
human existence. Until the Day of Judgement the wicked are punished in the
grave, while the righteous are rewarded. BACK
was a nymph in Greek mythology who gave her name to a fountain on the small
island of Ortygia, off the coast of Sicily. Ortygia was the ancient centre of
the city of Syracuse. BACK