William Watson

(1858-1935 / England)

Biography of William Watson

William Watson poet

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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The Foresters

Clear as of old the great voice rings to-day,
While Sherwood's oak-leaves twine with Aldworth's bay:
The voice of him the master and the sire
Of one whole age and legion of the lyre,
Who sang his morning-song when Coleridge still
Uttered dark oracles from Highgate Hill,
And with new-launchèd argosies of rhyme
Gilds and makes brave this sombreing tide of time.
Far be the hour when lesser brows shall wear

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