What is the legend regarding the Inchcape Rock, the base of the poem ‘The Inchcape Rock’ by Robert Southey?
The legend of the Inchcape Rock was that the rock had previously caused many shipwrecks. But the seamen had nothing to do. Finally the ‘good old Abbot of Aberbrothok’ had made a plan and placed a bell on it. The bell, swung by the tides, warned the passing ships of the presence of the rock there. That way the Inchcape Bell had saved many ship-men since then from that dangerous rock.
But a rover called Sir Ralph had an evil plan and he cut the bell down from the Inchcape Rock. Thereafter the rover had looted many ships that were caught in danger. But eventually Sir Ralph had to pay the price for his evil deeds. One day his own vessel lost its way in the gloom and struck the rock. The rover and his men died that way. It was a lesson for the mankind not to cause harm to others.
This poem is based on the legend of “The Inchcape Rock”. The Inchcape rock was an unsafe reef in the North sea off coast of Scotland. As it was submerged mostly in the ocean and not visible in the line of sight of sailors many ships got sunk by the perilous rock. As the legend goes, the Abbot of Aberbrothok tied a bell to the rock with an anchor. The waves of the sea floated and struck the bell making a ringing song. This proved to be a life saver for many mariners who, hence warned of the presence of the Inchcape rock, steered their way and sailed away safely. But the spiteful Sir Ralph the Rover could not be more envious of the Abbot of Aberbrothok and cut the bell from the sea. He went on plundering ships and grew rich with treasure. On his back he and his sailors themselves encountered the Inchcape rock, and being no bell to warn them of upcoming danger the ship was hit and sunk in the ocean. Hence it is rightly said that “As you sow, so shall you reap”. So we must always do good to others.