Alexander Smith

(31 December 1830 - 5 January 1867 / Ilmarnock)

Alexander Smith
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a Scottish poet, and labelled as one of the Spasmodic School.

Life and Works

He was born in a thatched house in Kilmarnock, in the Scottish Lowlands south-west of Glasgow, the first of several children. His father, John Smith, was a Lowlander who worked as a designer of lace, calico prints, paisley patterns, and muslins. His mother Christina Murray Smith was of Highland extraction and, together with a Highland servant girl, first introduced him to Gaelic songs and Scottish legends.

Being too poor to send him to college, his parents placed him in a linen factory in Glasgow to follow his father's trade of a pattern designer.

His early poems appeared ... more »

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more quotations »
  • ''I would rather be remembered by a song than by a victory.''
    Alexander Smith (1830-1867), Scottish poet. Dreamthorp, "Men of Letters," (1863).
  • ''To be occasionally quoted is the only fame I care for.''
    Alexander Smith (1830-1867), Scottish poet. Dreamthorp, "Men of Letters," (1863).
  • ''We are never happy; we can only remember that we were so once.''
    Alexander Smith (1830-1867), Scottish poet. Dreamthorp, "On Death and the Fear of Dying," (1863).
  • ''A man gazing on the stars is proverbially at the mercy of the puddles in the road.''
    Alexander Smith (1830-1867), Scottish poet. "Men of Letters," Dreamthorp (1863).
  • ''A man's real possession is his memory. In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor.''
    Alexander Smith (1830-1867), Scottish poet. "On Death and the Fear of Dying," Dreamthorp (1863).
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Best Poem of Alexander Smith


THE fierce exulting worlds, the motes in rays,
   The churlish thistles, scented briers,
The wind-swept bluebells on the sunny braes,
   Down to the central fires,

Exist alike in Love. Love is a sea
   Filling all the abysses dim
Of lornest space, in whose deeps regally
   Suns and their bright broods swim.

This mighty sea of Love, with wondrous tides,
   Is sternly just to sun and grain;
'Tis laving at this moment Saturn's sides,
   'Tis in my blood and...

Read the full of Love Updates

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