Francis William Bourdillon (1852-1921). Courtesy PoemHunter.

Francis William Bourdillon (22 March 1852 - 13 January 1921) was an English poet and translator.


Bourdillon was born at Trinity Parsonage, Halton Road, Runcorn, Cheshire, the eldest son of Rev. Francis Bourdillon, author and at that time perpetual curate of Runcorn. He was educated at Haileybury College and Worcester College, Oxford, earning a B.A. in 1877, and an M.A. in 1882. From 1876 to 1879, he acted as tutor to the sons of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein.[1][2][3] Later Bourdillon lived in Eastbourne,[4] and near Midhurst, Sussex.[5]

Bourdillon married Agnes Smyth, and they lived at Buddington, near Midhurst. They had 3 children.[3]

His friends included Audrey Boyle (1853/4-1916), later the wife of Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson, known as Audrey Lady Tennyson.[6][7]


Bourdillon is known mostly for his poetry, in particular a single short poem "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes". In fact, he had many collections published, including Among The Flowers, and other poems (1878), Minuscula: Lyrics of nature, art and love (1897, selections from 3 smaller volumes of verse published anonymously at Oxford in 1891, 1892, and 1894), Gerard and Isabel: A romance in form of cantefable (1921), and Preludes and Romances (1908).

In 1896 he published Nephelé, a romantic novel. He translated Aucassin et Nicolette as Aucassin and Nicolette (1887), and he wrote the scholarly work The Early Editions of the Roman de la Rose (1906), as well as Russia Reborn (1917) and various essays which the Religious Tract Society published.

Recognition Edit

His poem "The Night has a Thousand Eyes" was included in the Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1900.[8]





  • The Prodigal at Home Again: A picture drawn for practical instruction and example. London: James Nisbet, 1896.
  • Nephele: A novel. London: George Redway, 1896;[9] New York: New Amsterdam Book Co., 1896.



The Night Has a Thousand Eyes Francis William Bourdillon Audiobook Short Poetry

The Night Has a Thousand Eyes Francis William Bourdillon Audiobook Short Poetry

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[10]

See alsoEdit



  1. Template:Acad
  2. "FW Bourdillon, Poet, Scholar, and Editor of old French Romances". The London Times. 14 Jan 1921. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Romance of the Rose Illuminated Manuscripts at p. 103
  4. Eastbourne Memories, A Victorian Perspective of, notable events, Persons and town history - online book at
  5. Nicholas Albery (editor), Poem for the Day, p. 89.
  6. Audrey Tennyson; Zacyntha Antonia Lorenzina Boyle; Lady Alexandra Hasluck (1 January 1978). Audrey Tennyson's Vice-regal Days: The Australian Letters of Audrey Lady Tennyson to Her Mother Zacyntha Boyle, 1899-1903. National Library Australia. p. 349. ISBN 978-0-642-99115-7. 
  7. Rickard, Suzanne L. G.. "Tennyson, Hallam". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/57219.  Template:ODNBsub
  8. Francis William Bourdillon, "The Night has a Thousand Eyes," Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1900 (edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch), Oxford, UK: Clarendon, 1919., Web, Jan. 31, 2017.
  9. Nephele: A novel (1896), Internet Archive. Web, July 11, 2013.
  10. Search results: au:Francis William Bourdillon, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Center Ltd. Web, July 11, 2013.

External linksEdit

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