Biography of John Kenyon
John Kenyon was born in Jamaica, the son of a wealthy West Indian landowner, but came to England while quite a boy, and was a conspicuous figure in literary society during the second quarter of the century. He published some volumes of minor verse, but is best known for his friendships with many literary men and women, and for his boundless generosity and kindliness to all with whom he was brought into contact. Crabb Robinson described him as a man 'whose life is spent in making people happy.' He was a distant cousin of Miss Barrett, and a friend of Robert Browning, who dedicated to him his volume of 'Dramatic Romances,' besides writing and sending to him 'Andrea del Sarto' as a substitute for a print of the painter's portrait which he had been unable to find.
John Kenyon's Works:
Poems for the most part occasional
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John Kenyon Poems
Past And Future
Our Past—how strangely swift! Its years—mere months! Months—clipped to weeks! and longest day—an hour! But oh! how slow the Future; slow to all
To Mary Anning
Thee, Mary! first 'twas lightning struck, And then a water-vat half drowned; But I can't think 'twas mere blind luck
The Neglected Wife
They tell me that my face is fair, That sunny smiles are on my cheek— Yet sorrow hath been busy there, For many a day—for many a week—
Epitaph For A Roman Catholic Churchyard
Weary centinel of earth, Grief's companion from my birth, Doomed no more to watch and weep, Now I sleep the dreamless sleep
Rhymed Plea For Tolerance - Dialogue I
A.— That Preacher's strain I never could approve, Who, but in driblets, dwells on Christian Love; And when, in sooth, not wholly passing by,
Monument At Lucerne
When madden'd France shook her King's palace floor, Nobly, heroic Swiss, ye met your doom. Unflinching martyr to the oath he swore, Each steadfast soldier faced a certain tomb.
Rhymed Plea For Tolerance - Prefatory Di...
A.— Yes, I confess, I do regret the times When Pope and Dryden knit their manly rhymes; When Sense, to Fancy near, like light and shade
Lucinda! Lucinda! why all this abstraction? May astronomy hold no communion with mirth? Stars—comets—eclipses have these such attraction
Lines For A Scrap-Book
Gay register of harmless mirth, Record of dear domestic hours;
Pretence. Part I - Table-Talk
A. —True! nor recant I—true! I did engage That e'en in this most seeming virtuous age, With no vast stretch, with no far-scenting wind, Fit game for Satire were not hard to find.
Rhymed Plea For Tolerance - Dialogue Ii.
A.— By no faint shame withheld from general gaze, 'Tis thus, my friend, we bask us in the blaze; Where deeds, more surface-smooth than inly bright,
The Gods Of Greece
Ye Gods of Greece! Bright Fictions! when Ye ruled, of old, a happier race, And mildly bound rejoicing men In bonds of Beauty and of Grace;
Two streams there were, two streams from separate founts, Both beautiful to see, and one—most holy; (From Siloa this, and this from Hippocrene)
To A Female Friend,
Lady! you ask a farewell verse; Reluctant I obey. Far, gladlier far, would we rehearse Some rhyme to bid thee stay.
Lucinda! Lucinda! why all this abstraction?
May astronomy hold no communion with mirth?
Stars—comets—eclipses have these such attraction
To steal you from our mere pleasures of earth?
You, who lately would sportively 'flirt it' and 'fan it,'
At dinner or ball—grown so grave in a trice!
Have you found, pretty Plato! so fervid our planet,
You must needs flee to Saturn to borrow his ice?
Just so it once happened—I well can remember—