Alfred Noyes was born in England and attended Oxford, where he left before completing his degree. He published his first book of poems, The Loom of Years, at age 21, and published five more volumes of poetry in the next five years. In 1914, he began teaching at Princeton University, and became noted for his criticisms of such Modernist writers as James Joyce. Though his early work often evokes fantastic, dream-like, storybook emotions, his later poetry increasingly deals with religious themes. In “The Highwayman,” one of his best-known poems, Noyes displays his skill at writing narrative poetry reminiscent of his two biggest influences, Wordsworth and Tennyson.
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Now, in a breath, we’ll burst those gates of gold,
And ransack heaven before our moment fails.
Now, in a breath, before we, too, grow old,
We’ll mount and sing and spread immortal sails.
It is not time that makes eternity.
Love and an hour...