William Percy French

(1854 - 1920 / Elphin / Ireland)

William Percy French
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William Percy French was the son of a landlord and a clergyman's daughter. He studied engineering at Trinity College, where he spent a lot of time in song writing, dramatics, banjo playing and watercolour painting. After graduation he was on the verge of emigrating to Canada, but was appointed to a post in a government drainage scheme in Cavan. He was a self-styled 'Inspector of Drains' for seven years.

In 1891, his first wife, Ettie, died in childbirth, as did his baby daughter. he toured the country on his bicycle with a box of paints, painting and performing. He developed a one-man show, where he sang the songs he composed. At fifty, French moved to London and performed on ... more »

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Best Poem of William Percy French

A Fairy Song

Stay, silver ray,
Till the airy way we wing
To the shade of the glade
Where the fairies dance and sing:
The mortals are asleep -
They can never understand
That night brings delight,
It is day in Fairyland

Float, golden note,
From the lute strings all in tune,
Climb, quiv'ring chime,
Up the moonbeams to the moon.
There is music on the river,
There is music on the strand,
Night brings delight,
It is day in Fairyland.

Sing while we swing
From the bluebell's lofty crest.
Hey! Come and play,
Sleepy songbirds in your nest;
The ...

Read the full of A Fairy Song

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