Biography of Herbert Asquith
Herbert Asquith was an English poet, novelist and lawyer.
He was the second son of H. H. Asquith, British Prime Minister — with whom he is frequently confused — and younger brother of Raymond Asquith. His wife Lady Cynthia Asquith, whom he married in 1910, the daughter of Hugo Richard Charteris, 11th Earl of Wemyss (1857–1937), was also a writer.
Asquith was greatly affected by his service with the Royal Artillery in World War I. His poems include "The Volunteer" and "The Fallen Subaltern", the latter being a tribute to fallen soldiers. His books include "Roon" and "Young Orland".
Herbert Asquith's Works:
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Herbert Asquith Poems
Here lies a clerk who half his life had spent Toiling at ledgers in a city grey, Thinking that so his days would drift away With no lance broken in life’s tournament:
The Fallen Subaltern
The starshells float above, the bayonets glisten; We bear our fallen friend without a sound; Below the waiting legions lie and listen To us, who march upon their burial-ground.
The Frowning Cliff
The sea has a laugh And the cliff a frown; For the laugh of the sea is wearing him down. Lipping and lapping
Ares God Of War
UNDER the stars the armies lie asleep: Between the lines a quiet river flows Through brakes of honeysuckle, and of rose, And fields where poppies droop in languor deep
After The Salvo
UP and down, up and down They go, the gray rat, and the brown. The telegraph lines are tangled hair, Motionless on the sullen air
A Ship Sails Up To Bideford
A ship sails up to Bideford; Upon a western breeze, Mast by mast, sail over sail, She rises from the seas,
Hooded in angry mist, the sun goes down: Steel-gray the clouds roll out across the sea: Is this a Kingdom? Then give Death the crown, For here no emperor hath won, save He.
The Silver Birch
O SILVER one, O silver one, Above the valley of the Bane: O stem with snow-water agleam, And glistening limbs, and trails of pearl.
The Fallen Spire [a Flemish Village]
THE spire is gone, that slept for centuries, Mirrored among the lilies, calm and low: And now the water holds but empty skies, Through which the rivers of the thunder flow.
Soldiers At Peace
Mourn not for these, the children of the spring : On Flemish plains and far Aegean sand, Mourn not for these, who had no perishing ! Hang high their swords in churches greatly spanned !
IN domes of dim and ancient gold, In cloisters, where the lightning plays, Where gleam the gorgeous saints of old In aisles of jade and chrysoprase,
Fortune Of War
THE far guns boom: shell-struck the church is rolled Skyward athunder, dust of rose and gold: The staring villa stands. So goes the War: The limelight lives: extinguished is the star.
On A Troopship - 1915
FAREWELL, the village leaning to the hill, And all the cawing rooks that homeward fly ; The bees; the drowsy anthem of the mill The willows winding under April sky !
The Fallen Poet
NOW that the soul has left its throne Behind your mortal eyes, And light, and colour and sound are gone From the body's palaces :
Here lies a clerk who half his life had spent
Toiling at ledgers in a city grey,
Thinking that so his days would drift away
With no lance broken in life’s tournament:
Yet ever ’twixt the books and his bright eyes
The gleaming eagles of the legions came,
And horsemen, charging under phantom skies,
Went thundering past beneath the oriflamme.