William Knox

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William Knox (1789–1825) was a Scottish poet. The son of a farmer in Roxburghshire, he wrote several books of poetry, The Lonely Hearth, Songs of Israel, Harp of Zion, etc., which gained him the friendship of Walter Scott. He fell into dissipated habits, was latterly a journalist in Edinburgh, and died at 36. He is known for writing Abraham Lincoln's favourite poem, Mortality, which Lincoln often recited by memory.

Popular Poems
1.
Mortality

Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
...

2.
Opening To The Songs Of Zion

Harp of Zion! pure and holy!
Pride of Judah’s eastern land!
May a child of guilt and folly
...

3.
Oh, Why Should The Spirit Of Mortal Be Proud?

Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a swift-flitting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
...

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