Arthur O'Shaughnessy Poems

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Arthur O'Shaughnessy
Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy (March 14, 1844–January 30, 1881) was a British poet, born in London. At the age of seventeen, in June 1861, he received the post of transcriber in the library of the British Museum, reportedly through the influence of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. Two years later, at the age of nineteen, he became an assistant in the natural history department, where he specialized in Ichthyology. However, his true passion was for literature. He published his first collection, Epic of Women, in 1870, and published two more collections of poetry in 1872 and 1874. When he was thirty he married and did not produce any more volumes of poetry for the last seven years of his life. His last volume, Songs of a Worker, was published posthumously in 1881. Wikisource has original text related to this article: Ode (O'Shaughnessy)By far the most noted of any his works are the initial lines of the Ode from his book Music and Moonlight (1874): We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams, Wandering by lone sea-breakers, And sitting by desolate streams;— World-losers and world-forsakers, On whom the pale moon gleams: Yet we are the movers and shakers Of the world for ever, it seems. The ode was set to music by Sir Edward Elgar in 1912. The artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Ford Madox Brown were among O'Shaughnessy's circle of friends, and in 1873 he married Eleanor Marston, the daughter of author John Westland Marston and sister of the poet Philip Bourke Marston. Together, he and his wife wrote a book of children's stories titled Toy-land (1875). They had two children together, both of whom died in infancy. Eleanor died in 1879, and O'Shaughnessy himself died in London two years later from the effects of a "chill". The anthologist Francis Turner Palgrave in his work The Golden Treasury declared that of the modern poets, despite his limited output, O'Shaughnessy had a gift in some ways second only to Tennyson, and "a haunting music all his own". He was also alluded to by Neil Gaiman in his extremely popular series The Sandman in the guise of the envoy of the The Endless (comics), Eblis O'Shaughnessy.

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-brea... [read poem]
spring offensive
Halted against the shade of a last hill,
They fed, and, lying easy, were at ease
And, find... [read poem]
arms and the boy
Let the boy try along this bayonet-blade
How cold steel is, and keen with hunger of blood;... [read poem]
Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knife us ...
Wearied we keep awake becau... [read poem]
dulce et decorum est
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through s... [read poem]
strange meeting
It seemed that out of the battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped... [read poem]
Move him into the sun--
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields uns... [read poem]
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