John Davidson Poems
- A Ballad Of Hell 'A letter from my love to-day! Oh, ...
- War Song In anguish we uplift A new unhallowed song: The ...
- Thirty Bob A Week I couldn't touch a stop and turn a ...
- Imagination There is a dish to hold the sea, A brazier to ...
- In Romney Marsh As I went down to Dymchurch Wall, I heard ...
- Snow 'Who affirms that crystals are alive?' I affirm it, let...
- Battle The war of words is done; The red-lipped cannon ...
John Davidson was a Scottish poet, playwright and novelist, best known for his ballads. He also did translations from French and German. In 1909, financial difficulties, as well as physical and mental health problems, led to his suicide.
Life and Works
He was born at Barrhead, East Renfrewshire as the son of Alexander Davidson, an Evangelical Union minister and Helen née Crockett of Elgin. His family removed to Greenock in 1862 where he was educated at Highlanders' Academy there and entered the chemical laboratory of Walker's Sugarhouse refinery in his 13th year, returning after one year to school as a pupil teacher. In Public Analysts' Office, ... more »
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A Ballad Of Hell
'A letter from my love to-day!
Oh, unexpected, dear appeal!'
She struck a happy tear away,
And broke the crimson seal.
'My love, there is no help on earth,
No help in heaven; the dead-man's bell
Must toll our wedding; our first hearth
Must be the well-paved floor of hell.'
The colour died from out her face,
Her eyes like ghostly candles shone;
She cast dread looks about the place,
Then clenched her teeth and read right on.
'I may not pass the prison door;
Here must I rot from day to day,
Unless I wed whom I abhor,
My cousin, Blanche of ...