Biography of William Watson
Sir William Watson (1858 – 1935), was an English poet, popular in his time for the political content of his verse. He was born in Burley, in West Yorkshire.
He was very much on the traditionalist wing of English poetry. He was a prolific poet of the 1890s, and a contributor to The Yellow Book, without 'decadent' associations. He was also a defender of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, as he dropped out of fashion. On Tennyson's death, Watson was a strong candidate for Poet Laureate but his earlier opposition to the Boer War had made him politically unsuitable and he was passed over for Alfred Austin.
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William Watson Poems
April, April, Laugh thy girlish laughter; Then, the moment after, Weep thy girlish tears!
APRIL, April, Laugh thy girlish laughter; Then, the moment after, Weep thy girlish tears!
England And Her Colonies
SHE stands, a thousand-wintered tree, By countless morns impearled; Her broad roots coil beneath the sea, Her branches sweep the world;
A Golden Hour
A beckoning spirit of gladness seemed afloat, That lightly danced in laughing air before us:
In the night, in the night, When thou liest alone, Ah, the sounds that are blown In the freaks of the breeze,
I The old rude church, with bare, bald tower, is here; Beneath its shadow high-born Rotha flows;
Westward a league the city lay, with one Cloud's imminent umbrage o'er it: when behold, The incendiary sun
Thou burden of all songs the earth hath sung, Thou retrospect in Time's reverted eyes, Thou metaphor of everything that dies,
Strange the world about me lies, Never yet familiar grown- Still disturbs me with surprise, Haunts me like a face half known.
The Dream Of Man
To the eye and the ear of the Dreamer This Dream out of darkness flew, Through the horn or the ivory portal, But he wist not which of the two.
Here, peradventure, in this mirror glassed, Who gazes long and well at times beholds Some sunken feature of the mummied Past,
Last night the seawind was to me A metaphor of liberty, And every wave along the beach A starlit music seemed to be.
She was a lady great and splendid, I was a minstrel in her halls. A warrior like a prince attended Stayed his steed by the castle walls.
Nay, Bid Me Not My Cares To Leave
Nay, bid me not my cares to leave, Who cannot from their shadow flee. I do but win a short reprieve, 'Scaping to pleasure and to thee.
Laugh thy girlish laughter;
Then, the moment after,
Weep thy girlish tears!
April, that mine ears
Like a lover greetest,
If I tell thee, sweetest,
All my hopes and fears,
Laugh thy golden laughter,
But, the moment after,
Weep thy golden tears!