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'... more »
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- A Ballad of Hell
- Thirty Bob a Week
- War Song
- In Romney Marsh
- The Last Rose
- Song of a Train
- A Runnable Stag
- A Loafer
- A Cinque Port
Quotationsmore quotations »
''Seraphs and saints with one great voiceJohn Davidson (1857-1909), Scottish poet. A Ballad of Hell (l. 93-96). MoBrPo. Modern British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (7th rev. ed., 1962) H...
Welcomed that soul that knew not fear.
Amazed to find it could rejoice,
Hell raised a hoarse, half-human cheer.''
''How long she stayed I cannot tell;John Davidson (1857-1909), Scottish poet. A Ballad of Hell (l. 77-80). MoBrPo. Modern British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (7th rev. ed., 1962) H...
But when she felt this perfidy,
She marched across the floor of hell;
And all the damned stood up to see.''
''A stag of warrant, a stag, a stag,John Davidson (1857-1909), Scottish poet. A Runnable Stag (l. 6-9). OxBTC. Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century English Verse, The. Philip Larkin, ed....
A runnable stag, a kingly crop,
Brow, bay and tray and three on top,
A stag, a runnable stag.''
''Night sank: like flakes of silver fireJohn Davidson (1857-1909), Scottish poet. In Romney Marsh (l. 21-22). OxBTC. Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century English Verse, The. Philip Larkin, e...
The stars in one great shower came down;''
''Masts in the offing wagged their tops;John Davidson (1857-1909), Scottish poet. In Romney Marsh (l. 13-16). OxBTC. Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century English Verse, The. Philip Larkin, e...
The swinging waves pealed on the shore;
The saffron beach, all diamond drops
And beads of surge, prolonged the roar.''
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