William Henry Davies

(3 July 1871 – 26 September 1940 / Monmouthshire / Wales)

Biography of William Henry Davies

William Henry Davies poet

William Henry Davies was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. His father was, at the time a Publican. He was brought up by his grandparents in The Church House inn. After an apprenticeship as a picture-frame maker and a series of labouring jobs, he travelled to America, first to New York and then to the Klondike.

He returned to England after an accident whilst jumping a train in Canada, he lost a foot. Upon his return to Britain he led a poor, hard life living in London lodging houses and as a pedlar in the country. He married in 1923, Helen, who was much younger than he. His first poems were published when he was 34.

Most of his poetry is on the subject of nature or life on the road and exhibits a natural simple, earthy style. He also wrote two novels and autobiographical works, his best known being Autobiography of a Super-Tramp

He died in 1940.

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The Villain

While joy gave clouds the light of stars,
That beamed wher'er they looked;
And calves and lambs had tottering knees,
Excited, while they sucked;
While every bird enjoyed his song,
Without one thought of harm or wrong--
I turned my head and saw the wind,
Not far from where I stood,
Dragging the corn by her golden hair,

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