Biography of Robert Crawford
Robert Crawford was an Australian poet.
Crawford was born in Doonside, New South Wales, the son of Robert Crawford senior, and was educated at The King's School, Parramatta, and the University of Sydney. Crawford settled on a farm as his forefathers had done, but not being successful, became a clerk in Sydney and afterwards had a typewriting business. Some of Crawford's poems were published in The Bulletin and other periodicals. Crawford is believed to have been the first prize-winning haiku poet published in Australia, in The Bulletin on 12 August 1899. In 1904 a small collection, Lyric Moods:Various Verses, was published in Sydney. An enlarged edition was later published in Melbourne retitled simply Lyric Moods (1909). In 1921 another volume, Leafy Bliss, was published, and an enlarged edition appeared three years later. Crawford died suddenly at Lindfield, Sydney, on 13 January 1930.
Not a great deal is known about Crawford; he was short of stature, poetical in spirit. He mixed little in literary circles and seems to be forgotten a few years after his death. The statement that he was educated at The King's School originally appeared in the Bookfellow, and may have come direct from Crawford. If so there is no reason to doubt it, yet in the records of The King's School of his period the only R. Crawford is listed as Richard Crawford. It was also not possible to identify him positively with the Robert James G. W. Crawford who graduated B.A. at the University of Sydney in 1912, when the poet was about 44 years of age. Crawford is represented in some of the anthologies, and A. G. Stephens thought highly of his work. His work has a delicate charm and, though at times one fears it will not rise above merely pretty verse, in some of his quatrains and lyrics Crawford does succeed in writing poetry of importance. Perhaps, as Stephens once suggested, he may be better appreciated in the 21st century.
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Robert Crawford Poems
A Song Of The Sea.
Here within the half-light 'tween the night and day Upon the sands I lie, with thoughts that idly stirr'd
Beauty, Its Effect.
I have been touched with her, and have ta'en (Unclear The acquaintance of her beauty like a dream, Or as it were a flower of Faerie breathed
Evil itself may be but good disguised, As many a virtue now was once a vice, Or held to be such by the moralists;
Music, with the tears in it, Through my soul is ringing, Moods like bodies flame and flit Through the spirit's singing;
At The Back Of The Brain.
At the back of the brain a picture lies Of all we have been and done, And ever and then a color flames In the shadow of thought's sun.
The Ghost Ship.
Behold her on the silent sea, Yon vessel like a spirit there! Moved in a dream's reality, As if she trod the air.
She had an other-worldly air, So like a flower she grew, As if her thoughts and feelings were The only life she knew.
At Juliet's Tomb.
This fair woman who is dead (Sung so sweet of long ago) Lies not in a mortal bed — Song has made her couch to grow
The Fruit Of Love's Desire.
The fruit of love's desire is sweet For any man and maid to eat. However ripened in time's air, No other can with it compare.
Her beauty is the bourne thought cannot pass; And the angel of the heart's intelligence, Young Love, might deem that boundary infinite,
A Night In Babylon.
We whom to-night Love keeps awake For his own joy, may one day break Our fast in some Lethéan cave, When we but a faint memory have,
At Love's Beginning.
I might not have it then — I might not, yet She was so near to me, could I forget She might be nearer? There was in her eyes —
I in the autumn of my days Stand by a place of tears, And hear the unborn children weep Within the unborn years;
As the crinoid star-fish to the sea-base By his stem fixed draws bare subsistence in His straitened sphere, as in the sunless ooze
She was so dear, so fair. Her memory stays,
Even her dying robs me not of this,
That I have walked with her in mortal ways
Whose tender beauty now immortal is.
There are sweet flowers that bloom in ways forlorn
And sad sweet eyes whose beauty is a flower
Blown in the night to which there is no morn,
Dream-born and dying in its dewy bower;
And she was such a flower, her sweet eyes such;