Alice Meynell

(22 September 1847 - 27 November 1922 / London)

Alice Meynell
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Alice Christiana Gertrude Thompson Meynell was an English writer, editor, critic, and suffragist, now remembered mainly as a poet.


Meynell was born in Barnes, London, to Thomas James and Christiana (née Weller) Thompson. The family moved around England, Switzerland, and France, but she was brought up mostly in Italy, where a daughter of Thomas from his first marriage had settled. Her father was a friend of Charles Dickens.

Preludes (1875) was her first poetry collection, illustrated by her elder sister Elizabeth (the artist Lady Elizabeth Butler, 1850–1933, whose husband was Sir William Francis Butler). The work was warmly praised by Ruskin, ... more »

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  • ''If there is a look of human eyes that tells of perpetual loneliness, so there is also the familiar look that is the sign of perpetual crowds.''
    Alice Meynell (1847-1922), British poet, essayist. "Solitude," Essays (1914).
  • ''Let a man turn to his own childhood—no further—if he will renew his sense of remoteness, and of the mystery of change.''
    Alice Meynell (1847-1922), British poet, essayist. "The Illusion of Historic Time," Essays (1914).
  • The true colour of life is the colour of the body, the colour of the covered red, the implicit and not explicit red of the living heart and the pulses. It is the modest colour of the unpublished blood...
    Alice Meynell (1847-1922), British poet, essayist. "The True Colour of Life," Essays (1914).
  • ''It is easy to replace man, and it will take no great time, when Nature has lapsed, to replace Nature.''
    Alice Meynell (1847-1922), British poet, essayist. "The True Colour of Life," Essays (1914).
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Best Poem of Alice Meynell


I must not think of thee; and, tired yet strong,
I shun the love that lurks in all delight--
The love of thee--and in the blue heaven's height,
And in the dearest passage of a song.
Oh, just beyond the sweetest thoughts that throng
This breast, the thought of thee waits hidden yet bright;
But it must never, never come in sight;
I must stop short of thee the whole day long.
But when sleep comes to close each difficult day,
When night gives pause to the long watch I keep,
And all my bonds I needs must loose apart,
Must doff my will as raiment laid away,--

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