Alfred Austin

(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

Alfred Austin
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A writer who wore several hats throughout his career, Alfred Austin was a critic, novelist and political journalist. Although he was educated in law, his professional life focused primarily on literature. Austin published regularly for half a century and succeeded Alfred, Lord Tennyson as poet laureate of England in 1896. Nonetheless, he carries the reputation of having been the worst and least read English poet.

Austin was born on May 30, 1835, in Headingley, near Leeds, to Roman Catholic parents Joseph and Mary Austin. His father was a merchant and a magistrate of Headingley and his mother was the sister of Joseph Locke, a member of Parliament and a civil engineer. He was ... more »

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  • Rookie John Mahon (7/9/2013 10:17:00 AM)

    Vastly underrated. One of my favorite poets. Consistently solid poetry with plenty of very deep, moving and powerful pieces. Has a way with words even better than most poets of his era.

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Best Poem of Alfred Austin

Free Will And Fate

`You ask me why I envy not
The Monarch on his throne.
It is that I myself have got
A Kingdom of my own:
Kingdom by Free Will divine
Made inalienably mine,
Where over motions blind and brute
I live and reign supreme, a Sovereign absolute.

`Ebbing and flowing as the seas,
And surging but to drown,
Think you that I will pass to these
My Sceptre and my Crown?
Unto rebel passions give
Empire and prerogative?
They are attendants in my train,
To come when I command, and crouch as I ordain.

`If Will by long succession be
Not arbiter of ...

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