Born March 17, 1832, in Percy, Northumberland. Joseph Skipsey was a colliery worker at seven years of age. He made himself educated, publishing verse in local newspapers until he was gradually able to leave harsh labour behind him. He earned a living as caretaker to schools and colleges. He and his wife Sara Ann Fendley, married in 1854, had eight children. Of the 8 children, only the last three, Elizabeth, Joseph and Cuthbert survived to adulthood and old age.
Skipsey had several literary positions: Assistant Librarian, Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society (1863), and custoldian of Shakespeare's birthplace at Stratford-on-Avon (1889-91). He was awarded a annual civil list... more »
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Joseph Skipsey Poems
The butterfly from flower to flower The urchin chas’d; and, when at last He caught it in my lady’s bower, He cried, “Ha, ha!” and held it fast.
Get up!" the caller calls, "Get up!" And in the dead of night, To win the bairns their bite and sup, I rise a weary wight.
Mother wept, and father sigh’d; With delight a-glow Cried the lad, “To-morrow,” cried, “To the pit I go.”
AH, be not vain. In yon flower-bell, As rare a pearl, did I appear, As ever grew in ocean shell, To dangle at a Helen’s ear.
Misfortune is a darling, ever Most faithful to the minstrel race; Let low-bred wretches shun them, never Yet acted she a part so base.
The Hartley Calamity
The Hartley men are noble, and Ye'll hear a tale of woe; I'll tell the doom of the Hartley men - The year of sixty two.
'TIS little Robin Redbreast Was piping on the spray, 'And pray, mamma, what shall we do To bring him up this way?'
The Wilted Leaf
WILTED is the leaf, and blown By the cold wind up and down, That beheld thy promise fair, Maiden with the dark brown hair!
I READ in an old book the myth Of the Hellenian damsel with The magic needle, when there fell On me a power—a mystic spell—
My Little Boy
MY little boy, thy laughter Goes to my bosom core, And sends me yearning after The days that are no more.
FROM the pipe-end off it glides, Many hued appearing; What, if cynic harsh derides, Sets the boys a-staring.
WHEN I would laugh a little at The follies that in Life aboundeth, What ails the saint I worship, that She with a frown my spirit woundeth?
'I HATE outlandish things, and own I've little liking for the sonnet; 'Tis for a lazy Muse, and one Who hath a bumler in her bonnet.
The Inner Conflict
THRICE 'Iö Pæan!' let me cry, And bless the hour that I was born And born thro' love in vain to sigh— To cheer my longing heart a morn
Comments about Joseph Skipsey
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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Edgar Allan Poe
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The butterfly from flower to flower
The urchin chas’d; and, when at last
He caught it in my lady’s bower,
He cried, “Ha, ha!” and held it fast.
Awhile he laugh’d, but soon he wept,
When looking at the prize he’d caught
He found he had to ruin swept
The very glory he had sought