Biography of William Morris
William Morris was born in Essex and educated at Exeter College, Oxford. He was the founding editor of the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine (1856) in which many of his early poems appear. He was a practising painter (1857-62) and public lecturer on art, architecture and socialism (1877-96). He founded the Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, in 1890 and was a founding member the same year of the Hammersmith Socialist Society. He helped found the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (1877) which he served as secretary. His designs in things like furniture and fabrics contributed to the Arts and Crafts Movement and changed Victorian taste. He was president of the Birmingham Society of Arts and master of the Art Workers Guild. He found time to produce literary works and early influences on him included the Pre-Raphaelites, Ruskin, Carlyle and Rosetti. He declined a position as a
poetry professor at Oxford. A social and moral critic, he gave his first public lecture in 1887 and formed the Socialist league. He died, worn out by his various activities, and was buried at Kelmscott.
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William Morris Poems
Love Is Enough
LOVE is enough: though the World be a-waning, And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining, Though the sky be too dark for dim eyes to discover The gold-cups and daisies fair blooming thereunder,
For many, many days together The wind blew steady from the East; For many days hot grew the weather, About the time of our Lady's Feast.
The Haystack In The Floods
Had she come all the way for this, To part at last without a kiss? Yea, had she borne the dirt and rain That her own eyes might see him slain
For The Bed At Kelmscott
The wind's on the wold And the night is a-cold, And Thames runs chill 'Twixt mead and hill.
am the handmaid of the earth, I broider fair her glorious gown, And deck her on her days of mirth With many a garland of renown.
Earth The Healer, Earth The Keeper
So swift the hours are moving Unto the time unproved: Farewell my love unloving, Farewell my love beloved!
A Death Song
What cometh here from west to east awending? And who are these, the marchers stern and slow? We bear the message that the rich are sending Aback to those who bade them wake and know.
Wearily, drearily, Half the day long, Flap the great banners High over the stone;
Slayer of the winter, art thou here again? O welcome, thou that's bring'st the summer nigh! The bitter wind makes not thy victory vain, Nor will we mock thee for thy faint blue sky.
Echoes Of Love's House
Love gives every gift whereby we long to live “Love takes every gift, and nothing back doth give.”
Iceland First Seen
Lo from our loitering ship a new land at last to be seen; Toothed rocks down the side of the firth on the east guard a weary wide lea, And black slope the hillsides above, striped adown with their desolate green: And a peak rises up on the west from the meeting of cloud and of sea,
Through thick Arcadian woods a hunter went, Following the beasts upon a fresh spring day; But since his horn-tipped bow but seldom bent, Now at the noontide nought had happed to slay,
Half the day long,
Flap the great banners
High over the stone;
Strangely and eerily
Sounds the wind's song,
Bending the banner-poles.
While, all alone,