Robert Southwell

(1561 - 1595 / England)

Robert Southwell
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Robert Southwell was born at Horsham St. Faith's, Norfolk, England, in 1561; hanged at Tyburn, 21 February, 1595. His grandfather, Sir Richard Southwell, had been a wealthy man and a prominent courtier in the reign of Henry VIII. His grandfather had been a prominent man in Henry VIII's court and the family remained among the elite of the land. He was so beautiful as a young boy that a gypsy stole him. He was soon recovered by his family and became a short, handsome man, with gray eyes and red hair.

It was Richard Southwell who in 1547 had brought the poet Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, to the block, and Surrey had vainly begged to be allowed to "fight him in his shirt". ... more »

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Best Poem of Robert Southwell

The Burning Babe

AS I in hoary winter's night
   Stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat
   Which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye
   To view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright
   Did in the air appear;
Who, scorched with excessive heat,
   Such floods of tears did shed,
As though His floods should quench His flames,
   Which with His tears were bred:
'Alas!' quoth He, 'but newly born
   In fiery ...

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