John Kenyon

(1784-1856 / Jamaica)

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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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.

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