Arthur William Symons, was a British poet, critic and magazine editor.
Born in Milford Haven, Wales, of Cornish parents, Symons was educated privately, spending much of his time in France and Italy. In 1884–1886 he edited four of Bernard Quaritch's Shakespeare's Quarto Facsimiles, and in 1888–1889 seven plays of the "Henry Irving" Shakespeare. He became a member of the staff of the Athenaeum in 1891, and of the Saturday Review in 1894, but his major editorial feat was his work with the short-lived Savoy.
His first volume of verse, Days and Nights (1889), consisted of dramatic monologues. His later verse is influenced by a close study of modern... more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
Arthur Symons Poems
In The Stalls
My life is like a music-hall, Where, in the impotence of rage, Chained by enchantment to my stall, I see myself upon the stage
As a perfume doth remain In the folds where it hath lain, So the thought of you, remaining Deeply folded in my brain,
Love And Sleep
I have laid sorrow to sleep; Love sleeps. She who oft made me weep Now weeps.
Sweet, can I sing you the song of your kisses? How soft is this one, how subtle this is, How fluttering swift as a bird's kiss that is, As a bird that taps at a leafy lattice;
Amends To Nature
I have loved colours, and not flowers; Their motion, not the swallows wings; And wasted more than half my hours Without the comradeship of things.
The Loom Of Dreams
I broider the world upon a loom, I broider with dreams my tapestry; Here in a little lonely room I am master of earth and sea,
The Old Women
They pass upon their old, tremulous feet, Creeping with little satchels down the street, And they remember, many years ago, Passing that way in silks. They wander, slow
It was a day of sun and rain, Uncertain as a child's swift moods; And I shall never spend again So blithe a day among the woods.
Emmy's exquisite youth and her virginal air, Eyes and teeth in the flash of a musical smile, Come to me out of the past, and I see her there As I saw her once for a while.
In Fountain Court
The fountain murmuring of sleep, A drowsy tune; The flickering green of leaves that keep The light of June;
Twitched strings, the clang of metal, beaten drums, Dull, shrill, continuous, disquieting: And now the stealthy dancer comes Undulantly with cat-like steps that cling;
Before The Squall
The wind is rising on the sea, The windy white foam-dancers leap; And the sea moans uneasily, And turns to sleep, and cannot sleep.
The gipsy tents are on the down, The gipsy girls are here; And it's O to be off and away from the town With a gipsy for my dear!
The Broken Tryst
That day a fire was in my blood; I could have sung: joy wrapt me round; The men I met seemed all so good, I scarcely knew I trod the ground.
Comments about Arthur Symons
In The Stalls
My life is like a music-hall,
Where, in the impotence of rage,
Chained by enchantment to my stall,
I see myself upon the stage
Dance to amuse a music-hall.
'Tis I that smoke this cigarette,
Lounge here, and laugh for vacancy,
And watch the dancers turn; and yet
It is my very self I see
Across the cloudy cigarette.
My very self that turns and trips,
Painted, pathetically gay,
An empty song upon the lips
In make-believe of holiday:
I, I, this thing that turns and trips!
The light flares in the music-hall,
The light, the ...