Biography of John Kenyon
John Kenyon was born in Jamaica, the son of a wealthy West Indian landowner, but came to England while quite a boy, and was a conspicuous figure in literary society during the second quarter of the century. He published some volumes of minor verse, but is best known for his friendships with many literary men and women, and for his boundless generosity and kindliness to all with whom he was brought into contact. Crabb Robinson described him as a man 'whose life is spent in making people happy.' He was a distant cousin of Miss Barrett, and a friend of Robert Browning, who dedicated to him his volume of 'Dramatic Romances,' besides writing and sending to him 'Andrea del Sarto' as a substitute for a print of the painter's portrait which he had been unable to find.
John Kenyon's Works:
Poems for the most part occasional
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John Kenyon Poems
Past And Future
Our Past—how strangely swift! Its years—mere months! Months—clipped to weeks! and longest day—an hour! But oh! how slow the Future; slow to all
To Mary Anning
Thee, Mary! first 'twas lightning struck, And then a water-vat half drowned; But I can't think 'twas mere blind luck
The Neglected Wife
They tell me that my face is fair, That sunny smiles are on my cheek— Yet sorrow hath been busy there, For many a day—for many a week—
Lucinda! Lucinda! why all this abstraction? May astronomy hold no communion with mirth? Stars—comets—eclipses have these such attraction
Thou wert born where huge Missouri, Rushing heretofore alone, Bears to Mississippi dowry
Hint To The Poets
Brother Bard! if dream thou nourish, Thro' new fancy or new truth, 'Mid the sons of fame to flourish, Thou must lean on heart of youth.
Lines For A Scrap-Book
Gay register of harmless mirth, Record of dear domestic hours;
Childhood - I
I judge not hardly childhood's giddy glee; For I remember when my mother died, Half-wondering at that age what death might be,
Champagne Rose - II
Praise who will the duller liquor Juice of Portugal or Spain; Fill for me with lighter—quicker— Fill for me with Rose Champagne.
Champagne Rose - I
Lily on liquid roses floating— So floats yon foam o'er pink champagne— Fain would I join such pleasant boating, And prove that ruby main,
Brook Of Sanguinetto,
We win, where least we care to strive; And where the most we strive—we miss. Old Hannibal, if now alive,
Graceful Palms of Bordighiera! Bending o'er the Riviëra; Tho' by Devon's wave we've seen
Chloris! I cannot help but blush To meet that dark and glancing eye; Sportive you mark the sudden flush,
The bees, Sir, wont sting you; then why this ado? And for honey—they'll never make honey of you—
If, as they say, the Dead erewhile return,
Sent or permitted, from their shadowy bourn;
Yet not, or so we trust, shall every ghost,
In his old guise, reclaim our mortal coast.
Let Spurio, if once more among us thrown,
Come back in any shape—except his own.
While, Phyllis! you, the frank and debonnair,—
Do you return—the very thing you were.