Francis Thompson

(16 December 1859 – 13 November 1907 / Preston, England)

Francis Thompson
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Francis Thompson was an English poet and ascetic. After attending college, he moved to London to become a writer, but in menial work, became addicted to opium, and was a street vagrant for years. A married couple read his poetry and rescued him, publishing his first book, Poems in 1893. Francis Thompson lived as an unbalanced invalid in Wales and at Storrington, but wrote three books of poetry, with other works and essays, before dying of tuberculosis in 1907.

Life and Work

Born in Preston, Lancashire, his father Charles was a doctor who had converted to Roman Catholicism, following his brother Edward Healy Thompson, a friend of Cardinal ... more »

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Quotations

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  • I stand amid the dust o' the mounded years—
    My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap,
    My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,
    Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a ...
    Francis Thompson (1859-1907), British poet. The Hound of Heaven (l. 120-123). . . Oxford Book of Modern Verse, The, 1892-1935. William Butler Yeat...
  • Still with unhurrying chase,
    And unperturbed pace,
    Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
    Came on the following Feet,
    And a Voice above their beat—
    "Naught shelte...
    Francis Thompson (1859-1907), British poet. The Hound of Heaven (l. 46-51). . . Oxford Book of Modern Verse, The, 1892-1935. William Butler Yeats,...
  • ''All which I took from thee I did but take,
    Not for thy harms,
    But just that thou might'st seek it in My arms.''
    Francis Thompson (1859-1907), British poet. The Hound of Heaven (l. 171-173). . . Oxford Book of Modern Verse, The, 1892-1935. William Butler Yeat...
  • I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
    I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
    I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
    Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
    I ...
    Francis Thompson (1859-1907), British poet. The Hound of Heaven (l. 1-5). . . Oxford Book of Modern Verse, The, 1892-1935. William Butler Yeats, e...
  • ''Cry;—and upon thy so sore loss
    Shall shine the traffic of Jacob's ladder
    Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.''
    Francis Thompson (1859-1907), British poet. The Kingdom of God (l. 18-20). . . Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1918. Sir Arthur Quiller-Co...
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