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!
Last night the seawind was to me A metaphor of liberty, And every wave along the beach A starlit music seemed to be.
A Child's Hair
A letter from abroad. I tear Its sheathing open, unaware What treasure gleams within; and there-
Thou burden of all songs the earth hath sung, Thou retrospect in Time's reverted eyes, Thou metaphor of everything that dies,
A Golden Hour
A beckoning spirit of gladness seemed afloat, That lightly danced in laughing air before us:
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?
Westward a league the city lay, with one Cloud's imminent umbrage o'er it: when behold, The incendiary sun
England My Mother
I England my mother, Wardress of waters.
Seven moons, new moons, had eastward set their horns Averted from the sun; seven moons, old moons, Westward their sun-averted horns had set;
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
God-seeking thou hast journeyed far and nigh. On dawn-lit mountain-tops thy soul did yearn To hear His trailing garments wander by;
Ode in May
LET me go forth, and share
The overflowing Sun
With one wise friend, or one
Better than wise, being fair,
Where the pewit wheels and dips
On heights of bracken and ling,
And Earth, unto her leaflet tips,
Tingles with the Spring.