No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
The Ship was still as she could be;
Her sails from heaven received no motion,
Her keel was steady in the ocean.
Without either sign or sound of their shock,
The waves flow’d over the Inchcape Rock;
So little they rose, so little they fell,
They did not move the Inchcape Bell.
The Abbot of Aberbrothok
Had placed that bell on the Inchcape Rock;
On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung,
And over the waves its warning rung.
When the Rock was hid by the surge’s swell,
The Mariners heard the warning Bell;
And then they knew the perilous Rock,
And blest the Abbot of Aberbrothok
The Sun in the heaven was shining gay,
All things were joyful on that day;
The sea-birds scream’d as they wheel’d round,
And there was joyaunce in their sound.
The buoy of the Inchcpe Bell was seen
A darker speck on the ocean green;
Sir Ralph the Rover walk’d his deck,
And fix’d his eye on the darker speck.
He felt the cheering power of spring,
It made him whistle, it made him sing;
His heart was mirthful to excess,
But the Rover’s mirth was wickedness.
His eye was on the Inchcape Float;
Quoth he, “My men, put out the boat,
And row me to the Inchcape Rock,
And I’ll plague the Abbot of Aberbrothok.”
The boat is lower’d, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And he cut the bell from the Inchcape Float.
Down sank the Bell with a gurgling sound,
The bubbles rose and burst around;
Quoth Sir Ralph, “The next who comes to the Rock,
Won’t bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok.”
Sir ralph the Rover sail’d away,
He scour’d the seas for many a day;
And now grown rich with plunder’d store,
He steers his course for Scotland’s shore.
So thick a haze o’erspreads the sky,
They cannot see the sun on high;
The wind hath blown a gale all day,
At evening it hath died away.
On the deck the Rover takes his stand,
So dark it is they see no land.
Quoth Sir Ralph, “It will be lighter soon,
For there is the dawn of the rising Moon.”
“Canst hear,” said one, “the breakers roar?
For methinks we should be near the shore.”
“Now, where we are I cannot tell,
But I wish we could hear the Inchcape Bell.”
They hear no sound, the swell is strong,
Though the wind hath fallen they drift along;
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock,
“Oh Christ! It is the Inchcape Rock!”
Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,
He curst himself in his despair;
The waves rush in on every side,
The ship is sinking beneath the tide.
But even is his dying fear,
One dreadful sound could the Rover hear;
A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell,
The Devil below was ringing his knell.
Robert Southey's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Inchcape Rock by Robert Southey )
- Dreaming of Things While I Remain In My .., Rohit Sapra
- Facebooker, Md. Ziaul Haque
- Kidultnap, Md. Ziaul Haque
- Laugh, arshad arshad
- Puzzle of a Lovely Girl's Name!, Md. Ziaul Haque
- E- Humanity, Aamir Joyci
- In Memory of my Mother, George Pfumbi
- I Saw You Today, Md. Ziaul Haque
- Poetry Is Where You Find It IX, Frank Avon
- Touching the Dream, Md. Ziaul Haque
Poem of the Day
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner, Randall Jarrell
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
- Heather Burns
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931)