Biography of John Freeman
John Frederick Freeman, (29 January 1880 – 23 September 1929), was an English poet and essayist, who gave up a successful career in insurance to write full time.
He was born in London, and started as an office boy aged 13. He was a close friend of Walter de la Mare from 1907, who lobbied hard with Edward Marsh to get Freeman into the Georgian Poetry series; with eventual success. De la Mare's biographer Theresa Whistler describes him as "tall, gangling, ugly, solemn, punctilious".
He won the Hawthornden Prize in 1920 with Poems 1909-1920. His Last Hours was set to music by Ivor Gurney.
John Freeman Poems
Happy Is England Now
There is not anything more wonderful Than a great people moving towards the deep Of an unguessed and unfeared future; nor
Not With These Eyes
Let me not see your grief! O, let not any see That grief, Nor how your heart still rocks
It was a day All blue and lifting white, When I went into the fields with Frank To fly his kite.
All That I Was I Am
Hateful it seems now, yet was I not happy? Starved of the things I loved, I did not know I loved them, and was happy lacking them.
Against The Cold Pale Sky
Against the cold pale sky The elm tree company rose high. All the fine hues of day That flowered so bold had died away.
Than these November skies Is no sky lovelier. The clouds are deep; Into their grey the subtle spies Of colour creep,
Take Care, Take Care
Bind up, bind up your dark bright hair And hide the smouldering sunken fire. Let it be held no more than fair,
Wild heart, wild heart, Where does the wind find home? Wild heart, wild heart,
Just as this wood, cast on the snaky fire, Crushes the curling heads till smoke is thickened And the ash sinks beneath the billet's weight,
It Was The Lovely Moon
It was the lovely moon--she lifted Slowly her white brow among Bronze cloud-waves that ebbed and drifted Faintly, faintlier afar.
Far off a lonely hound Telling his loneliness all round To the dark woods, dark hills, and darker sea;
Music comes Sweetly from the trembling string When wizard fingers sweep Dreamily, half asleep;
The dead white on the fields' dead white Turned the peace to misery. Tall bony trees their wild arms thrust
In a great western wind we climbed the hill And saw the clouds run up, ride high and sink; And there were shadows running at our feet
All That I Was I Am
Hateful it seems now, yet was I not happy?
Starved of the things I loved, I did not know
I loved them, and was happy lacking them.
If bitterness comes now (and that is hell)
It is when I forget that I was happy,
Accusing Fate, that sits and nods and laughs,
Because I was not born a bird or tree.
Let accusation sleep, lest God's own finger
Point angry from the cloud in which He hides.