Robert Dodsley Poems

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Robert Dodsley
Robert Dodsley (1703 - September 23, 1764) was an English bookseller and miscellaneous writer. He was born near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, where his father was master of the free school. He is said to have been apprenticed to a stocking-weaver in Mansfield, from whom he ran away, going into service as a footman. In 1729 Dodsley published his first work, Servitude: a Poem written by a Footman, with a preface and postscript ascribed to Daniel Defoe; and a collection of short poems, A Muse in Livery, or the Footman's Miscellany, was published by subscription in 1732, Dodsley's patrons comprising many persons of high rank. This was followed by a satirical farce called The Toyshop (Covent Garden, 1735), in which the toymaker indulges in moral observations on his wares, a hint which was probably taken from Thomas Randolph's Conceited Pedlar. The profits accruing from the sale of his works enabled Dodsley to establish himself with the help of his friends--Alexander Pope lent him 100--as a bookseller at the "Tully's Head" in Pall Mall in 1735.

sea poppies
 
 
Amber husk
fluted with gold,
fruit on the sand
marked with a rich grain,

... [read poem]
the pool
 
 
Are you alive?
I touch you.
You quiver like a sea-fish.
I cover you with my net.
What are you - banded one?
leda
 
 
Where the slow river
meets the tide,
a red swan lifts red wings
and darker beak,... [read poem]
helen
 
 
All Greece hates
the still eyes in the white face,
the lustre as of olives
where she ... [read poem]
wash of cold river
 
 
Wash of cold river
in a glacial land,
Ionian water,
chill, sn... [read poem]
sheltered garden
 
 
I have had enough.
I gasp for breath.

Every way ends, every road,
every foot-p... [read poem]
oread
 
 
Whirl up, sea --
whirl your pointed pines,
splash your great pines
on our rocks,... [read poem]
sea rose
 
 
Rose, harsh rose,
marred and with stint of petals,
meagre flower, thin,
sparse of lea... [read poem]
cities
 
 
Can we believe -- by an effort
comfort our hearts:
it is not waste all this,
not plac... [read poem]
the footman: an epistle to my friend mr. wright
 
 
Dear FRIEND,
Since I am now at leisure,
And in the Country taking Pleasure,
If it be ... [read poem]
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