Who is William Hayley

William Hayley (9 November 1745 – 12 November 1820) was an English writer, best known as the biographer of his friend William Cowper.


Born at Chichester, he was sent to Eton in 1757, and to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, in 1762; his connection with the Middle Temple, London, where he was admitted in 1766, was merely nominal. In 1767 he left Cambridge and went to live in London. His private means enabled Hayley to live on his patrimonial estate at Eartham, Sussex, and he retired there in 1774. The location of this house in Eartham is now occupied by the Great Ballard School.

So great was Hayley's fame that on Thomas Warton's death in 1790 he was offered the laureateship, which he refused. In 1792, while writing the Life of Milton, Hayley made Cowper'...
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William Hayley Poems

  • The Swan
    Kind Heaven will oft a lesson give
    If mortals are inclined to learn;
    To shew how simplest things that live,
    To kindness make a rich return. ...
  • The Dog
    Of all the speechless friends of man
    The faithful dog I deem
    Deserving from the human clan
    The tenderest esteem: ...
  • The Horse
    Virtue! thou hast spells divine,
    Spells, that savage force controul!
    What's the strongest charm of thine?
    Courage in a mother's soul. ...
  • The Elephant
    Say, nature, on whose wond'rous reign
    Delighted fancy dwells,
    Of all thy numerous brutal train
    What animal excells? ...
  • The Stork
    Who can forget fair freedom's bird,
    That has her genuine praises heard,
    Confirm'd by frequent proof?
    The patriot stork is sure to share ...
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Top 10 most used topics by William Hayley

Soul 22 Mind 21 Joy 19 Sweet 18 Voice 18 Delight 18 God 18 Hope 17 Life 17 Heart 17

William Hayley Quotes

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Poem of the day

Robert Service Poem
Her Toys
 by Robert Service

I sat her in her baby chair,
And set upon its tray
Her kewpie doll and teddy bear,
But no, she would not play.
Although they looked so wistfully
Her favour to implore,
She laughed at me with elfin glee
And dashed them to the floor.

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