Robert Southwell, SJ Poems

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Robert Southwell, SJ
Saint Robert Southwell (c. 1561 21 February 1595) was an English Jesuit priest and poet. He was hanged at Tyburn, and became a Catholic martyr. He was born at Horsham St. Faith in Norfolk, England. Southwell, the youngest of eight children, was brought up in a family of Catholic gentry and educated at Douai. Thence he moved to Paris, where he was placed under a Jesuit priest, Thomas Darbyshire. In 1580 he joined the Society of Jesus after a two-year novitiate passed mostly at Tournai. In spite of his youth, he was made prefect of studies in the Venerable English College at Rome and was ordained priest in 1584. It was in that year that an act was passed forbidding any English-born subject of Queen Elizabeth, who had entered into priests' orders in the Roman Catholic Church since her accession, to remain in England longer than forty days on pain of death. But Southwell, at his own request, was sent to England in 1586 as a Jesuit missionary with Henry Garnett. He went from one Catholic family to another, administering the rites of his Church, and in 1589 became domestic chaplain to Ann Howard, whose husband, the first earl of Arundel, was in prison convicted of treason. It was to him that Southwell addressed his Epistle of Comfort. This and other of his religious tracts, A Short Rule of Good Life, Triumphs over Death, Mary Magdalen's Tears and a Humble Supplication to Queen Elizabeth, were widely circulated in manuscript. That they found favor outside Catholic circles is proved by Thomas Nash's imitation of Mary Magdalen's Tears in Christ's Tears over Jerusalem.

the faerie queene, book i, canto 11 (1596)
 
 
[Fol. K7r; p. 155] Canto 11

The knight with that old Dragon fights
t... [read poem]
prosopopoia: or mother hubbard's tale
 
 
By that he ended had his ghostly sermon,
The fox was well induc'd to be a parson,
And of t... [read poem]
the shepheardes calender: october
 
 
OCTOBER: Ægloga Decima

Cuddie, for shame hold up thy heavye head,
And ... [read poem]
the faerie queene, book i, canto 10 (1596)
 
 
[Fol. I5r; p. 135] Canto 10

Her faithfull knight faire Vna brings
to... [read poem]
an hymn in honour of beauty
 
 
AH whither, Love, wilt thou now carry me?
What wontless fury dost thou now inspire
Into my... [read poem]
iambicum trimetrum
 
 
Unhappy verse, the witness of my unhappy state,
Make thy self flutt'ring wings of thy fast ... [read poem]
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