Benjamin Disraeli, First Earl of Beaconsfield (1804-1881)

picture of disraeli

Twice British Prime Minister, in 1868 and 1874--80, and well known as a novelist. "Lord Beaconsfield, even his most ardent admirers would admit, gave no evidence that he was possessed of the creative faculty in verse; an ardent imagination he undoubtedly had. He wrote, so far as I am aware, only two sonnets, one of which--that on Wellington--certainly deserves a place in any sonnet-anthology. I do not insert it in the body of this book, however, as its composition was fortuitous, and as its author has no broader claim to appear among genuine poets.[!]" (Sharp)

Also, see Gladstone.


Not only that thy puissant arm could bind
The tyrant of a world; and, conquering Fate,
Enfranchise Europe, do I deem thee great;
But that in all thy actions I do find
Exact propriety: no gusts of mind
Fitful and wild, but that continuous state
Of ordered impulse mariners await
In some benignant and enriching wind,--
The breath ordained of Nature. Thy calm mien
Recalls old Rome, as much as thy high deed;
Duty thine only idol, and serene
When all are troubled; in the utmost need
Prescient; thy country's servant ever seen,
Yet sovereign of thyself, whate'er may speed. (Text from Sonnets of This Century.)