Here you will find the Long Poem Metrical Letter, Written From London. of poet Robert Southey
Margaret! my Cousin!--nay, you must not smile; I love the homely and familiar phrase; And I will call thee Cousin Margaret, However quaint amid the measured line The good old term appears. Oh! it looks ill When delicate tongues disclaim old terms of kin, Sirring and Madaming as civilly As if the road between the heart and lips Were such a weary and Laplandish way That the poor travellers came to the red gates Half frozen. Trust me Cousin Margaret, For many a day my Memory has played The creditor with me on your account, And made me shame to think that I should owe So long the debt of kindness. But in truth, Like Christian on his pilgrimage, I bear So heavy a pack of business, that albeit I toil on mainly, in our twelve hours race Time leaves me distanced. Loath indeed were I That for a moment you should lay to me Unkind neglect; mine, Margaret, is a heart That smokes not, yet methinks there should be some Who know how warm it beats. I am not one Who can play off my smiles and courtesies To every Lady of her lap dog tired Who wants a play-thing; I am no sworn friend Of half-an-hour, as apt to leave as love; Mine are no mushroom feelings that spring up At once without a seed and take no root, Wiseliest distrusted. In a narrow sphere The little circle of domestic life I would be known and loved; the world beyond Is not for me. But Margaret, sure I think That you should know me well, for you and I Grew up together, and when we look back Upon old times our recollections paint The same familiar faces. Did I wield The wand of Merlin's magic I would make Brave witchcraft. We would have a faery ship, Aye, a new Ark, as in that other flood That cleansed the sons of Anak from the earth, The Sylphs should waft us to some goodly isle Like that where whilome old Apollidon Built up his blameless spell; and I would bid The Sea Nymphs pile around their coral bowers, That we might stand upon the beach, and mark The far-off breakers shower their silver spray, And hear the eternal roar whose pleasant sound Told us that never mariner should reach Our quiet coast. In such a blessed isle We might renew the days of infancy, And Life like a long childhood pass away, Without one care. It may be, Margaret, That I shall yet be gathered to my friends, For I am not of those who live estranged Of choice, till at the last they join their race In the family vault. If so, if I should lose, Like my old friend the Pilgrim, this huge pack So heavy on my shoulders, I and mine Will end our pilgrimage most pleasantly. If not, if I should never get beyond This Vanity town, there is another world Where friends will meet. And often, Margaret, I gaze at night into the boundless sky, And think that I shall there be born again, The exalted native of some better star; And like the rude American I hope To find in Heaven the things I loved on earth.