Robert Emmett single work   poetry   "Oh, why should the cold chain of silence be thrown"
  • Author: Charles Harpur http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/harpur-charles
First known date: 1843 Issue Details: First known date: 1843 1843
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Reprinted 25 May, 4, with [a report on] an angry letter from Harpur protesting against editor's changes and the poem in its original form.' (Webby)

The first published version of this poem, printed in the Morning Chronicle newspaper on the 11 May 1844, was extensively altered by the Chronicle's editor.

Charles Harpur's correct version of the poem is published in the Morning Chronicle 25 May 1844 alongside the editor's altered version of the poem and a column apologising for but defending the editor's alterations.

For more information on Harpur's dispute with the editor of the Morning Chronicle see J. Normington-Rawling, Charles Harpur, An Australian (Angus & Robertson, 1962): 98-99.

Notes

  • Epigraph: 'Oh, breathe not his name! let it rest in the shade,/ Where cold and unhonored his relics are laid;/ Sad, silent and dark be the tears that we shed,/ As the night-dews that fall in the grass o'er his head.' Moore.
  • Listed under the title 'Robert Emmett' in The Poems of Charles Harpur in Manuscript in the Mitchell Library and in Publication in the Nineteenth Century: An Analytical Finding List by Elizabeth Holt and Elizabeth Perkins (Canberra: Australian Scholarly Editions Centre, 2002).

    Published under the title 'Robert Emmett' in The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur edited with Introduction and Bibliography by Elizabeth Perkins (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, (1984).

  • The date '1843' appears at the foot of Charles Harpur's corrected version of the poem published in the Morning Chronicle (25 May 1844): 4.
  • Robert Emmet (1778-1803) 'Irish nationalist leader who inspired the abortive rising of 1803, remembered as a romantic hero of Irish lost causes.' He was hanged for treason on 20 September 1803. Charles Harpur's epigraph is from a Thomas Moore song inspired by Emmet's love for his fiancée Sarah Curran.

    Source: 'Robert Emmet', Encyclopædia Britannica Online (sighted : 07/03/2012)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: Robert Emmitt
Notes:
Appears with the title 'Robert Emmitt' in Charles Harpur's corrected version of the poem published in the Morning Chronicle (25 May 1844): 4.
Notes:
20 lines.
  • Appears in:
    y The Morning Chronicle vol. 1 no. 67 25 May 1844 Z632616 1844 newspaper issue 1844 pg. 4
  • Appears in:
    y The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur Charles Harpur , Elizabeth Perkins (editor), Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1984 Z459555 1984 selected work poetry satire 'This collection represents one version of almost every poem written by Charles Harpur, with the omission of some translations and paraphrases. The verse drama, "Stalwart the Bushranger", and the fragments of the dramatic poem "King Saul" are not included. ... The collection is edited from Harpur's manuscript poems held in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, and from printed copies in colonial newspapers when no manuscript version existed.' (Preface) Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1984 pg. 770-771
    Note: Appears with title 'Robert Emmett'.
  • Appears in:
    y The Turning Wave : Poems and Songs of Irish Australia Colleen Burke (editor), Vincent Woods (editor), Armidale : Kardoorair Press , 2001 Z929605 2001 anthology poetry Armidale : Kardoorair Press , 2001 pg. 26
    Note: Appears with title 'Robert Emmet' and attributed to Anon.
Alternative title: Robert Emmet
First line of verse: "Oh, why the dark mantle of silence be thrown"
Notes:
The title 'Robert Emmet' was given to the poem in its first published version by the editor of the Morning Chronicle. The editor also altered the first line.
Notes:
16 lines.
  • Appears in:
    y The Morning Chronicle vol. 1 no. 67 25 May 1844 Z632616 1844 newspaper issue 1844 pg. 4
  • Appears in:
    y The Morning Chronicle vol. 1 no. 63 11 May 1844 Z1846903 1844 newspaper issue 1844 pg. 2
    Note: The epigraph is linked separately.

Works about this Work

Original Poetry 1844 single work column
— Appears in: The Morning Chronicle , 25 May vol. 1 no. 67 1844; (p. 4)

This column is an apology for and in defence of 'some alterations ... made in ... [Charles Harpur's] poetical lines on Robert Emmitt ...' The author of the column details the changes made and defends them by stating, 'We did it, not from a wish to injure the Parnassian fame of Mr. H., but the contrary ...'

An 'angry' letter sent to the Morning Chronicle newspaper by Charles Harpur disclaiming the alterations is extensively quoted.

The altered version of the poem, published in the Morning Chronicle 11 May 1844, is republished with Charles Harpur's corrected version in the Morning Chronicle 25 May 1844. The altered and corrected versions are separately indexed.

Original Poetry 1844 single work column
— Appears in: The Morning Chronicle , 25 May vol. 1 no. 67 1844; (p. 4)

This column is an apology for and in defence of 'some alterations ... made in ... [Charles Harpur's] poetical lines on Robert Emmitt ...' The author of the column details the changes made and defends them by stating, 'We did it, not from a wish to injure the Parnassian fame of Mr. H., but the contrary ...'

An 'angry' letter sent to the Morning Chronicle newspaper by Charles Harpur disclaiming the alterations is extensively quoted.

The altered version of the poem, published in the Morning Chronicle 11 May 1844, is republished with Charles Harpur's corrected version in the Morning Chronicle 25 May 1844. The altered and corrected versions are separately indexed.

Last amended 7 Mar 2012 16:27:35
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