William Morris Poems

Poems » william morris

William Morris
William Morris (March 24, 1834 October 3, 1896) was an English artist, writer, socialist and activist. He was one of the principal founders of the British arts and crafts movement, best known as a designer of wallpaper and patterned fabrics, a writer of poetry and fiction and a pioneer of the socialist movement in Britain. Born on his family's estate of Elm House in Walthamstow, he went to school at Marlborough College, but left in 1851 after a student rebellion there. He then went to Exeter College, Oxford after studying for his matriculation to the university. He became influenced by John Ruskin there, and met his life-long friends and collaborators, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown and Philip Webb there as well. He also met his wife, Jane Burden, a working-class woman from Oxford whose pale skin, figure, and wavy, abundant dark hair were considered by Morris and his friends the epitome of beauty. These friends formed an artistic movement, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. They eschewed the tawdry industrial manufacture of decorative arts and architecture and favoured a return to hand-craftsmanship, raising artisans to the status of artists. He espoused the philosophy that art should be affordable, hand-made, and that there should be no hierarchy of artistic mediums. Morris married Jane Burden at St Michael at the Northgate, Oxford, on 26 April 1859. They had two daughters, Jane (called Jenny), who developed epilepsy after a boating accident, and Mary (called May), who herself became a designer and writer.

hush-a-by baby
 
 
Hush-a-by Baby
On the tree top,
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock;
When t... [read poem]
caesar's song
 
 
Bow, wow, wow,
Whose dog art thou?
Little Tom Tinker's dog,
Bow, wow, wow.
boys and girls come out to play
 
 
Boys and girls come out to play,
The moon does shine as bright as day;
Come with a hoop, a... [read poem]
in prison
 
 
Wearily, drearily,
Half the day long,
Flap the great banners
High over the stone;... [read poem]
three wise men of gotham
 
 
Three wise men of Gotham,
They went to sea in a bowl,
And if the bowl had been stronger,
My song had been longer.
ding dong bell
 
 
Ding dong bell,
The cat is in the well.
Who put her in?
Little Johnny Green.... [read poem]
little jack horner
 
 
Little Jack Horner
Sat in a corner,
Eating of Christmas pye;
He put in his ... [read poem]
jack and gill
 
 
Jack and Gill
Went up the hill,
To fetch a pail of water;
Jack fell do... [read poem]
jack sprat
 
 
Jack Sprat
Could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean;
And so betwixt them both,
They lick'd the platter clean.
high diddle, diddle
 
 
High diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jump'd over the moon;
The little... [read poem]
this pig went to market
 
 
This pig went to market,
That pig staid at home;
This pig had roast meat,
That pig ha... [read poem]
dickery dickery dock
 
 
Dickery, dickery dock,
The mouse ran up the clock;
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Dickery, dickery dock.
there was an old woman
 
 
There was an old woman
Liv'd under a hill,
And if she isn't gone
She lives there still.
atalanta's race
 
 
Through thick Arcadian woods a hunter went,
Following the beasts upon a fresh spring day;
... [read poem]
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