Biography of William Watson
Sir William Watson (1858 – 1935), was an English poet, popular in his time for the political content of his verse. He was born in Burley, in West Yorkshire.
He was very much on the traditionalist wing of English poetry. He was a prolific poet of the 1890s, and a contributor to The Yellow Book, without 'decadent' associations. He was also a defender of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, as he dropped out of fashion. On Tennyson's death, Watson was a strong candidate for Poet Laureate but his earlier opposition to the Boer War had made him politically unsuitable and he was passed over for Alfred Austin.
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William Watson Poems
APRIL, April, Laugh thy girlish laughter; Then, the moment after, Weep thy girlish tears!
England And Her Colonies
SHE stands, a thousand-wintered tree, By countless morns impearled; Her broad roots coil beneath the sea, Her branches sweep the world;
April, April, Laugh thy girlish laughter; Then, the moment after, Weep thy girlish tears!
Thou burden of all songs the earth hath sung, Thou retrospect in Time's reverted eyes, Thou metaphor of everything that dies,
Last night the seawind was to me A metaphor of liberty, And every wave along the beach A starlit music seemed to be.
A Golden Hour
A beckoning spirit of gladness seemed afloat, That lightly danced in laughing air before us:
Here, peradventure, in this mirror glassed, Who gazes long and well at times beholds Some sunken feature of the mummied Past,
Westward a league the city lay, with one Cloud's imminent umbrage o'er it: when behold, The incendiary sun
At The Grave Of Charles Lamb, In Edmonto...
Not here, O teeming City, was it meet Thy lover, thy most faithful, should repose, But where the multitudinous life-tide flows
That beauty such as thine Can die indeed, Were ordinance too wantonly malign: No wit may reconcile so cold a creed
The Great Misgiving
'NOT ours,' say some, 'the thought of death to dread; Asking no heaven, we fear no fabled hell: Life is a feast, and we have banqueted-- Shall not the worms as well?
So, without overt breach, we fall apart, Tacitly sunder--neither you nor I Conscious of one intelligible Why,
England My Mother
I England my mother, Wardress of waters.
A Child's Hair
A letter from abroad. I tear Its sheathing open, unaware What treasure gleams within; and there-
Laugh thy girlish laughter;
Then, the moment after,
Weep thy girlish tears!
April, that mine ears
Like a lover greetest,
If I tell thee, sweetest,
All my hopes and fears,
Laugh thy golden laughter,
But, the moment after,
Weep thy golden tears!