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Narrative Poetry

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A summary of ‘The Inchcape Rock’ by Robert Southey
These are in the right order, as numbered.

1.

10.

One day, out at sea, when there was no wind The bell sank and Sir Ralph said, ‘The next person who comes to the rock won’t thank

the water.

the Abbot’.

2.

11.

The day was so still that there were no

He then rowed back to his boat and sailed

sounds or signs as the water moved around

away. He was gone a long time, during

and over the Inchcape Rock. In fact, the

which he became very rich by stealing from

waves were so small that they did not move

other ships, but eventually he decided to

enough to ring the Inchcape Bell.

return to Scotland.

ea

rn

ing

and no waves, a ship lay silently and still in

12.

3.

As he came closer to shore, there was a

rel

The Abbot of Aberbrothok had placed the

bell on a buoy on the Rock so that in stormy
weather it would float and swing.

Sailors were very grateful to the Abbot for
this because they could hear the bell even
when they couldn’t see the Rock in rough

13.
The Rover stood on deck; unable to see land
he reassured himself that the moon would
soon light the way.

ww

w.

seas.

although it had been windy in the day, the
sea was flat calm by evening.

mo

4.

haze in the sky that blocked the sun and,

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t

Narrative Poetry

.ne

14.
5.

Another sailor asked, ‘Can you hear the

On this particular day, the sun was shining

waves breaking on the shore? I think we

and seagulls screamed with joy.

should be near land but I can not tell. I wish

ing

we could hear the Inchcape Bell.’

15.

Sir Ralph the Rover, walking on the deck of

There was no sound and, although the wind

his ship, watched the buoy carefully. He

had died away, the ship drifted along.

could see it because it was a darker green

Suddenly, with a shudder, the vessel struck

showing under the sea.

the Inchcape Rock!

rn

6.

He felt cheered by the spring day and

whistled and sang but really, because the
Rover was a bad man, what made him

Sir Ralph the Rover was horrified as the
waves poured over his ship and it began to
sink.

rel

happy were wicked thoughts.

16.

ea

7.

8.

17.

As he was drowning, the Rover could hear a

his men, ‘Row me to the Inchcape Rock and

tolling bell but it wasn’t the one on the

I’ll destroy the kindness of the Abbot of

Inchcape Rock; it was the Devil ringing his

Aberbrothok’.

knell.

w.

9.

mo

He watched the Inchcape buoy and then told

Sir Ralph was rowed to the Rock where he
lent over the side of his boat and cut the bell

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from the buoy.

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