William Watson (poet)

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

He was very much on the traditionalist wing of English poetry. He was a prolific poet of the 1890s, and a contributor to The Yellow Book, without 'decadent' associations. He was also a defender of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, as he dropped out of fashion.


  • The Prince's Quest and Other Poems (1880)
  • Epigrams of Art, Life and Nature (1884)
  • Wordsworth’s Grave and Other Poems (1890)
  • Poems (1892)
  • Lachrymae Musarum (1892)
  • Lyric Love: An Anthology (1892)
  • Eloping Angels : A Caprice (1893)
  • The Poems of William Watson (1893)
  • Excursions in Criticism: Being Some Prose Recreations Of A Rhymer (1893)
  • Odes and Other Poems (1894)
  • The Father of the Forest & Other Poems (1895)
  • The Purple East: A Series Of Sonnets On England's Desertion of Armenia (1896)
  • The Year of Shame (1897)
  • The Hope of the World and Other Poems (1898)
  • The Collected Poems of William Watson (1899)
  • Ode on the Coronation of King Edward VII (1902)
  • Selected Poems (1903)
  • For England. Poems Written During Estrangement (1904)
  • New Poems (1909)
  • Sable and Purple (1910)
  • The Heralds of the Dawn: A Play in Eight Scenes (1912)
  • The Muse in Exile (1913)
  • Pencraft. A Plea For The Older Ways (1916)
  • The Man Who Saw: and Other Poems Arising out of the War (1917)
  • Retrogression and Other Poems (1917)
  • The Superhuman Antagonists and Other Poems (1919)


  • Jean Moorcroft Wilson (1981) I Was an English Poet: a Critical Biography of Sir William Watson 1858-1936

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