William Knox (1789-1825 / Scotland)
Biography of William Knox
William Knox (1789–1825) was a Scottish poet. The son of a farmer in Roxburghshire, he wrote several books of poetry, The Lonely Hearth, Songs of Israel, Harp of Zion, etc., which gained him the friendship of Walter Scott. He fell into dissipated habits, was latterly a journalist in Edinburgh, and died at 36. He is known for writing Abraham Lincoln's favourite poem, Mortality, which Lincoln often recited by memory.
William Knox's Works:
1818 The Lonely Hearth, and other poems [North Shields]
1824 The Songs of Israel [Edinburgh]
1825 Harp of Zion, and Other Poems [Edinburgh]
Mariomne, or the Widower's Daughter,
A Visit to Dublin
He also frequently wrote for the "Literary Gazette"
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Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
He passes from life to his rest in the grave.
The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
Be scattered around, and together be laid;
And the young and the old, the low and the high,
Shall molder to dust, and together shall lie.