The Castle of Indolence

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The Castle of Indolence: An Allegorical Poem  (1748) 
by James Thomson
The Castle of Indolence was first published by Andrew Millar in 1748 as The Caſtle of Indolence: An Allegorical Poem. Written in Imitation of Spenſer. By James Thomſon. Though the majority of the poem was written by Thomson, stanza LXVIII of the first canto was written "by a Friend of the Author" because it describes Thomson himself.

The poem is written in stanzas of nine lines apiece, with an ab/ab/bc/bc/c rhyming scheme (Spenserian stanza) and with five accented syllables per line (iambic pentameter), except every ninth line, which receives six (Alexandrine hexameter). The Castle of Indolence served as a reintroduction of Spenserian stanza, and inspired other poets, including Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, Washington Irving and John Keats.

The text presented here makes use of the long ess (ſ) to preserve Thomson's original orthography. It is pronounced exactly like an s, and should be read as such. It should not be confused with f.

Because of the sheer volume of archaisms and obsolete terminology in this work, such words have been linked to Wiktionary in grey. However, those names and terms which have been linked to Wikipedia or Wikisource are left blue. All of this is done to assist in reader understanding.

A scanned copy of the original may be read here.


Canto I
I


Canto II
I