Biography of Samuel Rogers
an English poet, during his lifetime one of the most celebrated, although his fame has long since been eclipsed by his Romantic colleagues and friends Wordsworth, Coleridge and Byron. His recollections of these and other friends such as Charles James Fox are key sources for information about London artistic and literary life, with which he was intimate, and which he used his wealth to support. He made his money as a banker and was also a discriminating art collector.
His literary production remained slow. An Epistle to a Friend (the above-mentioned Conversation Sharp), published in 1798, describes Rogers's ideal of a happy life. This was followed by The Voyage of Columbus (1810), and by Jacqueline (1814), a narrative poem, written in the four-accent measure of the newer writers, and published in the same volume with Byron's Lara. His reflective poem on Human Life (1819), on which he had been engaged for twelve years, is written in his earlier manner.
In 1814 Rogers made a tour on the Continent with his sister Sarah. He travelled through Switzerland to Italy, keeping a full diary of events and impressions, and had made his way to Naples when the news of Napoleon's escape from Elba obliged him to hurry home. Seven years later he returned to Italy, paying a visit to Byron and Shelley at Pisa. Out of the earlier of these tours arose his last and longest work, Italy. The first part was published anonymously in 1822; the second, with his name attached, in 1828. It was at first a failure, but Rogers was determined to make it a success. He enlarged and revised the poem, and commissioned illustrations from J.M.W. Turner, Thomas Stothard and Samuel Prout. These were engraved on steel in the sumptuous edition of 1830. The book then proved a great success, and Rogers followed it up with an equally sumptuous edition of his Poems (1834). In 1850, on Wordsworth's death, Rogers was asked to succeed him as poet laureate, but declined the honour on account of his age. For the last five years of his life he was confined to his chair in consequence of a fall in the street. He died in London, and is buried in the family tomb in the churchyard of St Mary's Church, Hornsey High Street, Haringey .
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Samuel Rogers Poems
Italy : 14. Venice
There is a glorious City in the Sea. The Sea is in the broad, the narrow streets, Ebbing and flowing; and the salt sea-weed
Mine be a cot beside the hill, A bee-hive's hum shall sooth my ear; A willowy brook, that turns a mill, With many a fall shall linger near.
The lark has sung his carol in the sky; The bees have hummed their noon-tide lullaby; Still in the vale the village-bells ring round,
Italy : 22. Ginevra
If thou shouldst ever come by choice or chance To Modena, where still religiously Among her ancient trophies is preserved
An Inscription for a Temple - Dedicated ...
Approach with reverence. There are those within, Whose dwelling-place is Heaven. Daughters of Jove, From them flow all the decencies of Life;
An Italian Song
Dear is my little native vale, The ring-dove builds and murmurs there; Close by my cot she tells her tale To every passing villager.
An Epistle To A Friend
When, with a Reaumur's skill, thy curious mind Has class'd the insect-tribes of human-kind, Each with its busy hum, or gilded wing,
Italy : 1. The Lake Of Geneva
Day glimmered in the east, and the white Moon Hung like a vapour in the cloudless sky, Yet visible, when on my way I went,
Italy : 13. Coll'Alto
'In this neglected mirror (the broad frame Of massy silver serves to testify That many a noble matron of the house
Italy : 3. St. Maurice
Still by the Leman Lake for many a mile, Among those venerable trees I went, Where damsels sit and weave their fishing-nets,
Italy : 30. Rome
I am in Rome! Oft as the morning-ray Visits these eyes, waking at once I cry, Whence this excess of joy? What has befallen me?
Italy : 9. The Alps
Who first beholds those everlasting clouds, Seed-time and harvest, morning, noon and night, Still where they were, steadfast, immovable;
To Two Sisters - On The Death Of A Young...
Well may you sit within, and, fond of grief, Look in each other's face, and melt in tears; Well may you shun all counsel, all relief -
An Inscription in the Crimea
Shepherd, or Huntsman, or worn Mariner, Whate'er thou art, who wouldst allay thy thirst, Drink and be glad. This cistern of white stone,
Once more, enchanting girl, adieu!
I must be gone while yet I may,
Oft shall I weep to think of you;
But here I will not, cannot stay.
The sweet expression of that face.
For ever changing, yet the same,
Ah no, I dare not turn to trace.
It melts my soul, it fires my frame!