Sir Henry Newbolt
Biography of Sir Henry Newbolt
Born in Bilston, Staffordshire in 1862, Newbolt was educated at Clifton School and Oxford University. After his studies Newbolt became a barrister.
Higly respected, Newbolt was a lawyer, novelist, playwright and magazine editor. Above all, he was a poet who championed the virtues of chivalry and sportsmanship combined in the service of the British Empire.
Although his first novel, Taken from the Enemy, was published in time for his thirtieth birthday in 1892, Newbolt’s reputation was established in 1897 in a poem written about a schoolboy cricketer who grows up to fight in Africa, Vitai Lampada. The poem was well received both critically and publicly at the time.
Shortly after war was declared Newbolt was recruited by the head of Britain’s War Propaganda Bureau (WPB), Charles Masterman, to help shape and maintain public opinion in favour of the war effort. Newbolt, who was appointed controller of telecommunications during the war, was knighted in 1915. The Companion of Honour followed in 1922.
Newbolt authored two official volumes of the naval history of the war in the 1920s. His autobiography, My World as in My Time was published in 1932.
Sir Henry Newbolt died in 1938.
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Sir Henry Newbolt Poems
There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night— Ten to make and the match to win— A bumping pitch and a blinding light, An hour to play and the last man in.
Drake he's in his hammock an' a thousand miles away, (Capten, art tha sleepin' there below?) Slung atween the round shot in Nombre Dios Bay, An' dreamin' arl the time O' Plymouth Hoe.
The Fighting Téméraire
It was eight bells ringing, For the morning watch was done, And the gunner's lads were singing As they polished every gun.
This is the Chapel: here, my son, Your father thought the thoughts of youth, And heard the words that one by one The touch of Life has turn’d to truth.
He Fell Among Thieves
‘Ye have robb’d,’ said he, ‘ye have slaughter’d and made an end, Take your ill-got plunder, and bury the dead: What will ye more of your guest and sometime friend?’ ‘Blood for our blood,’ they said.
We loved our nightjar, but she would not stay with us. We had found her lying as dead, but soft and warm, Under the apple tree beside the old thatched wall. Two days we kept her in a basket by the fire,
A Ballad Of John Nicholson
It fell in the year of Mutiny, At darkest of the night, John Nicholson by Jalándhar came, On his way to Delhi fight.
A Letter From The Front
I was out early to-day, spying about From the top of a haystack -- such a lovely morning -- And when I mounted again to canter back I saw across a field in the broad sunlight
Down thy valleys, Ireland, Ireland, Down thy valleys green and sad, Still thy spirit wanders wailing, Wanders wailing, wanders mad.
The War Films
O living pictures of the dead, O songs without a sound, O fellowship whose phantom tread Hallows a phantom ground --
Praise thou with praise unending, The Master of the Wine; To all their portions sending
Our game was his but yesteryear; We wished him back; we could not know The self-same hour we missed him here He led the line that broke the foe.
Effingham, Grenville, Raleigh, Drake, Here's to the bold and free! Benbow, Collingwood, Byron, Blake,
Mother, with unbowed head Hear thou across the sea The farewell of the dead, The dead who died for thee.
The Toy Band
A Song of the Great Retreat
Dreary lay the long road, dreary lay the town,
Lights out and never a glint o' moon:
Weary lay the stragglers, half a thousand down,
Sad sighed the weary big Dragoon.
"Oh! if I'd a drum here to make them take the road again,
Oh! if I'd a fife to wheedle, Come, boys, come!
You that mean to fight it out, wake and take your load again,