William Watson (poet)

English poet; (1858 - 1935)
(Redirected from William Watson)

Sir William Watson (1858 – 11 August 1935) was an English poet, popular in his time for the political content of his verse.


  • And, though circuitous and obscure,
    The feet of Nemesis how sure!
    • "Europe at the Play", line 33, in The Year of Shame (London: John Lane, 1897), p. 75.
  • April, April,
    Laugh thy girlish laughter;
    Then, the moment after,
    Weep thy girlish tears!
    • "Song (April, April)", line 1, in The Hope of the World and Other Poems (London: John Lane, 1898), p. 41.

Epigrams of Art, Life, and Nature (1884)


Liverpool: Gilbert G. Walmsley, 1884. No pagination

  • The Poet gathers fruit from every tree,
    Yea, grapes from thorns and figs from thistles he.
    Pluck'd by his hand, the basest weed that grows
    Towers to a lily, reddens to a rose.
    • III, line 1
  • Man looks at his own bliss, considers it,
    Weighs it with curious fingers; and 'tis gone.
    • XI, line 3.
  • God, by the earlier sceptic, was exiled;
    The later is more lenient grown and mild:
    He sanctions God, provided you agree
    To any other name for deity.
    • XII. "Thinkers, Past and Present", line 1.
  • Flower-fondled, clasp'd in ivy's close caress,
    It seems with Nature, yet apart.
    • XVII. "The Ruined Abbey", line 1.
  • To keep in sight Perfection, and adore
    The vision, is the artist's best delight;
    His bitterest pang, that he can ne'er do more
    Than keep her long'd-for loveliness in sight.
    • XXXVII, line 1.
  • His friends he loved. His fellest earthly foes—
    Cats—I believe he did but feign to hate.
    My hand will miss the insinuated nose,
    Mine eyes the tail that wagg'd contempt at Fate.
    • L. "An Epitaph", line 1.
  • Earth is less fragrant now, and heaven more sweet.
    • LXI. "A Maiden's Epitaph", line 4.

Wordsworth's Grave and Other Poems (1890)


London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1890

  • Best they honour thee
    Who honour in thee only what is best.
    • "The True Patriotism", line 13; p. 30.
  • In this house with starry dome,
    Floored with gemlike plains and seas,
    Shall I never feel at home,
    Never wholly be at ease?

    On from room to room I stray,
    Yet mine Host can ne’er espy,
    And I know not to this day
    Whether guest or captive I.

    • "World-Strangeness", line 5; p. 50.
  • Hate and mistrust are the children of blindness.
    • "England to Ireland", line 17; p. 55.

Poems (1892)


London: Macmillan and Co., 1892

  • O be less beautiful, or be less brief.
  • O ye by wandering tempest sown
    Neath every alien star,
    Forget not whence the breath was blown
    That wafted you afar!
    For ye are still her ancient seed
    On younger soil let fall—
    Children of Britain’s island-breed,
    To whom the Mother in her need
    Perchance may one day call.

Lacrymæ Musarum and Other Poems (1893)


London: Macmillan and Co., 1893

  • Empires dissolve and peoples disappear,
    Song passes not away.
    • "Lacrymæ Musarum", line 114; p. 9.
  • The after-silence, when the feast is o'er,
    And void the places where the minstrels stood,
    Differs in nought from what hath been before,
    And is nor ill nor good.
  • The votes of veering crowds are not
    The things that are more excellent.
    • "The Things That Are More Excellent", line 15; p. 55.
  • The stars of heaven are free because
    In amplitude of liberty
    Their joy is to obey the laws.
    • "The Things That Are More Excellent", line 26; p. 56.
  • The thirst to know and understand—
    A large and liberal discontent:
    These are the goods in life's rich hand,
    The things that are more excellent.
    • "The Things That Are More Excellent", line 61; p. 58.
  • God on His throne is
    Eldest of poets:
    Unto His measures
    Moveth the Whole.
    • "England My Mother", Part ii, line 21; p. 66.
  • Deemest thou, labour
    Only is earnest?
    Grave is all beauty,
    Solemn is joy.
    • "England My Mother", Part iv, line 17; p. 69.

The Father of the Forest and Other Poems (1895)


London: John Lane, 1895

  • Ladies whose smile embroiled the world.
    • "The Father of the Forest", Part i, line 30; p. 21.
  • Sea that breakest for ever, that breakest and never art broken.
    • "Hymn to the Sea", Part ii, line 5; p. 21.
  • Braying of arrogant brass, whimper of querulous reeds.
    • "Hymn to the Sea", Part iii, line 8; p. 27.

Wikipedia has an article about: