16.584 lone scholar

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Wed Mar 26 2003 - 02:38:25 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 584.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 07:25:27 +0000
             From: Alan D Corre <corre@uwm.edu>
             Subject: Re: 16.577 lone scholar

    I think the best comment on the "Lone Scholar," especially in the
    Humanities, is by the English poet Robert Southey (1774-1843):

    My days among the Dead are passed;
    Around me I behold,
    Wher'er these casual eyes are cast,
    The mighty minds of old:
    My never-failing friends are they,
    With whom I converse day by day.

    With them I take delight in weal
    And seek relief in woe;
    And while I understand and feel
    How much to them I owe,
    My cheeks have often been bedewed
    With tears of thoughtful gratitude.

    My thoughts are with the Dead; with them
    I live in long-past years,
    Their virtues love, their faults condemn,
    Partake their hopes and fears,
    And from their lessons seek and find
    Instruction with an humble mind.

    My hopes are with the Dead; anon
    My place with them will be,
    And I with them shall travel on
    Through all Futurity;
    Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
    That will not perish in the dust.

    Lord Byron did not much care for Southey, whose name he acidly rhymes with
    "mouthey." Yet Southey's name has not perished, largely on account of his
    anti-war poem "After Blenheim":

    'With fire and sword the country round
    Was wasted far and wide,
    And many a childing mother then
    And new-born baby died:
    But things like that, you know, must be
    At every famous victory...

    'And everybody praised the Duke
    Who this great fight did win.'
    'But what good came of it at last?'
    Quoth little Peterkin:--
    'Why, that I cannot tell,' said he,
    'But 'twas a famous victory.'

                              Alan D. Corre
                      Emeritus Professor of Hebrew Studies
                      University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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