John Kenyon

(1784-1856 / Jamaica)

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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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—

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