He started writing at the age of fifteen. The work of Merode is considered to be the most important christian work between both worldwars. Merode was subtle man, deeply religious. He was a teacher at the primary school in Uithuizermeeden (1907/1924). He explored many different genres of writing - using a different pseudonym for every style. Many of his poems celebrate his passion for especially one boy, "Okke". He had friendship with a few teenage boys, which were - by his own choice - of a chaste nature. Merode always concealed his pederastic nature carefully. One friendship was said to be sexual, but although this was never proven, the authorities convicted him, and he served a year in jail as a result. This prison time broke the sound man. Nevertheless, he wrote his best work during and after his sentence. One of his works is a compilation of poems on the beauty of boys, titled Ganymedes. When Okke heard about his conviction, shocked, he did not want to have contact with De Merode ever again. At the age of over 80, he reconciled with De Merode over his grave in Eerbeek.
Towards the end of his life he was awarded the Oranje-Nassau order of knighthood, a royal decoration.
Willem de Merode/Willem Eduard Keuning is buried in Eerbeek, a small village in the middle of Holland where he had spent most of his years after his devastating prison time. A small memorial has been placed in a parc in Uithuizermeeden in 1987 in his remembrance.