Frederick William (FW) Harvey
Biography of Frederick William (FW) Harvey
Frederick William Harvey was an English poet, known for poems composed in prisoner-of-war camps at Krefeld and Gütersloh that were sent back to England, during World War I.
He was born in Hartpury, Gloucestershire. He was educated at the King's School, Gloucester, where he formed a close friendship with Ivor Gurney, and then at Rossall School. Gurney and Herbert Howells, another local composer, would set a number of his poems to music.
He started on a legal career, which would always be somewhat tentative. He became a Roman Catholic convert in 1914, and shortly after joined the Gloucestershire Regiment as a private soldier, as World War I broke out.
Serving in France, he was awarded the D. C. M. in 1915, and returned to England for officer training. He was captured behind the German lines in 1916, where he began to write more seriously.
He returned home in 1919, and married in 1921. He did not enjoy any sustained success as a writer, and never fully settled.
Frederick William (FW) Harvey's Works:
A Gloucestershire Lad At Home and Abroad (1916)
Gloucestershire Friends (1917)
Comrades in Captivity: a record of life in seven German prison camps (1920) (war memoirs)
September and Other Poems (1925)
In Pillowell Woods (1926)
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Frederick William (FW) Harvey Poems
(To E.M., Who drew them in Holzminden Prison) I
God dreamed a man; Then, having firmly shut Life like a precious metal in his fist Withdrew, His labour done. Thus did begin
I'm homesick for my hills again - My hills again! To see above the Severn plain, Unscabbarded against the sky,
No mortal comes to visit me to-day, Only the gay and early-rising Sun Who strolled in nonchalantly, just to say, ' Good morrow, and despair not, foolish one ! '
Comrades of risk and rigour long ago Who have done battle under honour's name, Hoped (living or shot down) some meed of fime, And wooed bright Danger for a thrilling kiss, —
A Rondel of Gloucestershire
Big glory mellowing on the mellowing hills, And in the Uttle valleys, thatch and dreams, Wrought by the manifold and vagrant wills Of sun and ripening rain and wind ; so gleams
THE OLDEST INHABITANT HEARS FAR OFF THE...
Sometimes 'tis far off, and sometimes 'tis nigh, Such drummerdery noises too they be ! 'Tis odd — oh, I do hope I baint to die Just as the summer months be coming on,
Bodies of comrade soldiers gleaming white Within the mill-pool where you float and dive And lounge around part-clothed or naked quite; Beautiful shining forms of men alive,
To You, Unsung
How should I sing you ? — you who dwell unseen Within the darkest chamber of my heart. What picturesque and inward-turning art Could shadow forth the image of my queen.
On Where's the use to write ? What can I tell you, dear ? Just that I want you so Who are not near.
A man there was, a gentle soul, Of mild enquiring mind, Who came into this neighbourhood Its wonders for to find [ … ]
What we Think of
Walking round our cages like the lions at the Zoo, We think of things that we have done, and things we mean to do : Of girls we left behind us, of letters that are due,
Once, I remember, when we were at home I had come into church, and waited late, Ere lastly kneeling to communicate Alone : and thinking that you would not come.
A Christmas Wish
I CAN NOT give you happiness : For wishes long have ceased to bring The Fortune which to page and king They brought in those good centuries,
God dreamed a man;
Then, having firmly shut
Life like a precious metal in his fist
Withdrew, His labour done. Thus did begin
Our various divinity and sin.
For some to ploughshares did the metal twist,
And others—dreaming empires—straightway cut
Crowns for their aching foreheads. Others beat
Long nails and heavy hammers for the feet