The Inchcape Rock (Summary)
The poem ‘The Inchcape Rock’ is written by Robert Southey. The Inchcape Rock is a reef in the North Sea on the east coast of Angus, Scotland about 18 kilometers off. The plot surrounds the good Abbot of Aberbrothok and the evil Sir Ralph the Rover. The Abbot has installed a bell on the Inchcape Rock to prevent the shipwrecks there. During the storms, the bell rang and caused alarm among the passing ships. So, the Abbot is blessed by mariners.
Summary of The Inchcape Rock
In the first stanza, the calmness of the sea is described. The air, ship and water are all still. The ship is steady on the ocean and getting no motion from the wind.
In the second stanza, we see mild sea waves. The waves do not make any sign or sound as it is rising and falling very little. The Inchcape Rock is not moved by the soft waves.
In the third stanza, we see that the good Abbot of Aberbrothok installed the Inchcape Bell on the Inchcape Rock. Everyone becomes alert about the rock when the bell rings during storms.
In the third stanza, we see that the mariners are being guided by the bell in stormy weather. The Rock hides behind the waves so it becomes non-visible. But the sound of the bell can be heard. This alerts the mariners and they save their lives and blesses Abbot.
In the fifth stanza, we see a bright atmosphere that usually happens before every bad situation. Everything looked joyful on a particular day where the sea birds were screaming and whirling in joy.
We get to see Sir Ralph in the sixth stanza. He noticed the Inchcape Rock as a blackish spot in the ocean as it was clearly visible. So he went there.
He seemed very happy at the good atmosphere. He was singing in joy and making whistles. But he had a sinful thought behind his happiness.
He reveals his wish in the eighth stanza. Sir Ralph the Rover wanted to destroy the good deeds of the Abbot. He ordered his crew to remove the bell from the Rock.
Rover’s men took a boat to the Inchcape Rock where he cut and removed the bell from the Rock.
The bell sinked down making bubbling sounds. Sir Ralph was very happy because no one would be saved from the Rock.
After that, many ships met with accidents where Ralph looted them. He became a rich man and went to Scotland.
Ralph faces gloomy weather when he sails to Scotland. In the evening, it became more gloomy.
Ralph waited for the moon to come as he was unable to see anything.
They got struck in a storm and Ralph regrets that the bell is no more.
They suddenly hit the Inchcape Rock as the vessel was jerking.
Water starts filling the entire vessel when Ralph starts to regret his evil deeds.
Ralph hears the sound of the bell which is actually his death bell ringing beneath the water.