Biography of Owen Suffolk
Owen Suffolk born in England in 1829 he was a clerk by profession, but was transported to Australia, for a 7 year term when he was just 18 years old.
Upon his release, in 1848 he was convicted of horse stealing being jailed for the second time. Only a few weeks after his release from that jail term he and a friend, Christopher Farrell held up a mail coach.
He was captured and returned to prison for a 3rd term, where he worked as a clerk.
The authorities were very pleased with his work,and he obtained an early release. After his release it was discovered that he had been 'doctoring' prisoners records.
He had ample opportunity to earn a living in his chosen profession, but he chose once again turned to crime, and was again sentenced for horse stealing shortly afterwards.
During his fifth prison term he earned the title of 'The Convict Poet'.
After released from prison this time, he returned to England.
He had not learnt form his mistakes and found himself in trouble with the law there for 'confidence tricks'. He faked his drowning and escaped to America with the proceeds of a wealthy widows money.
In 1868 he was reported to be alive and well and enjoying himself in New York.
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Owen Suffolk Poems
The Battle Of Life
Up! and arm for life's struggle, We shall conquer in the fight, If we arm us for the battle With the weapons Truth and Right;
I Feel That I Am Free
To me the sky looks bluer, And the green grass greener still, And earth's flowers seem more lovely As they bloom on heath and hill.
The Prison Bell
Hark to the bell of sorrow! - 'tis awak'ning up again Each broken spirit from its brief forgetfulness of pain. Its sad sound seems to me to be a deathwail from the past, An elegy for buried joys too pure and bright to last.
The Dream Of Freedom
'Twas night, and the moonbeams palely fell On the gloomy walls of a cheerless cell, Where a captive sought a brief repose From the bitter pangs of his waking woes.
For Frank Gardiner
It is not in a prison drear Where all around is gloom, That I would end life's wild career, And sink into the tomb,
My Memory's Care
Sing not to me a song of beauty bright, Nor festive scenes of dazzling light; Nor of gorgeous pageant in palace hall Begemmed with many a coronal;
I'm out in the world once more, And I mean to run the rig, For I've learned from the prison lore That the pauper fares worse than the prig.
Fame surrounds us with a glory, Dazzling as the noon-day sun, And upon the page of story, Blazons deeds of greatness done.
Mother! Darling mother, you are seeking me I know, And I feel thy love will follow through the world where'er I go; But I cannot come, dear mother; I am sadly altered now: The once fair wreath of innocence that garlanded my brow
I am so lonely, I am so sad, Speak one word only To make my heart glad,
Thou sinless and sweet one - thy voice is a strain Which yields solace to sadness, and balm to my pain, From thy unsullied spirit it comes to me here, Like the music of Eden - soft, holy, and clear.
Nothing seems changed; here's the oaken chair, That every night I knelt beside, As I whispered to God the simple prayer I learned from my mother when I was her pride.
An exile captive, severed from his home, Torn from the friends he loved in life's sweet spring; Heart-broken toils, while still his sad thoughts roam Back to the past which now no joys can bring;
I gladly would sing in a joyous strain, But my heart of its joy is bereft; For my young life there is nought but grief and pain, And a haunting memory left.
Nothing seems changed; here's the oaken chair,
That every night I knelt beside,
As I whispered to God the simple prayer
I learned from my mother when I was her pride.
The old familiar things of then,
Unchanged, are beautiful still to the now;
But I am transformed in heart, and when
Will guilt ever cease to shadow my brow?