3633. Robert Southey to Caroline Bowles, 14 February 1821

3633. Robert Southey to Caroline Bowles, 14 February 1821⁠* 

14 Feby. 1821.

I forgot when writing yesterday [1]  to thank you for the drawing, & for the feeling which induced you to send it. I know the spot well, & the poplar tree, but among the nearest buildings are some high tower-like chimnies, which look as if they belonged to a manufactory, & which I think have been erected since my time. For my recollections of Bristol are in the eighteenth year of their age: – a large part of human life! [2]  Were I to visit that city now, I should walk its streets like a stranger, & scarcely meet one person whom I remembered, or who would remember me. – When my poem reaches you, you will see that I do not think of Bristol without a natural feeling. [3] 

I please myself in thinking what pleasure you will have in sketching here, – where, if you have never been fairly in a mountainous country, you will feel yourself almost in a new world.


Yrs very truly



* Endorsement: Miss Caroline Bowles
MS: British Library, Add MS 47889. ALS; 2p.
Previously published: Edward Dowden (ed.), The Correspondence of Robert Southey with Caroline Bowles (Dublin and London, 1881), p. 22. BACK

[1] Southey to Caroline Bowles, 13 February 1821, Letter 3632. BACK

[2] Southey had left Bristol in 1803 after the death of his first child Margaret Edith. BACK

[3] A Vision of Judgement (1821), Canto 11, lines 57–61, celebrated: ‘Bristol! my birth-place dear. What though I have chosen a dwelling/ Far away, and my grave shall not be found by the stranger/ Under thy sacred care, nathless in love and in duty/ Still am I bound to thee, and by many a deep recollection!/ City of elder days, I know how largely I owe thee’. BACK

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