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,
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,
An Epitaph On A Robin Red-Breast
Tread lightly here, for here, 'tis said, When piping winds are hushed around, A small note wakes from the underground,
Italy : 12. Italy
Am I in Italy? Is this the Mincius? Are those the distant turrets of Verona? And shall I sup where Juliet at the Masque
Italy : 22. Ginevra
If thou shouldst ever come by choice or chance To Modena, where still religiously Among her ancient trophies is preserved
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 : 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 : 9. The Alps
Who first beholds those everlasting clouds, Seed-time and harvest, morning, noon and night, Still where they were, steadfast, immovable;
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,
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 Inscription - For Stratfield Saye
These are the groves a grateful people gave For noblest service; and from age to age, May they, to such as come with listening ear,
From A Greek Epigram
While on the cliff with calm delight she kneels, And the blue vales a thousand joys recall, See, to the last, last verge her infant steals!
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.
The squirrel leaps from tree to tree,
And shells his nuts at liberty.
In orange-groves and myrtle-bowers,
That breathe a gale of fragrance round,