Winston Churchill poem to see $23,500 at Bonhams auction

paulfrasercollectibles

2015-06-26 13:09:47

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Winston Churchill poem to see $23,500 at Bonhams auction

The only poem that Winston Churchill wrote as an adult celebrates the British Empire

Winston Churchill's only known poem written as an adult will sell on April 10 in London, as part of Bonhams' much-anticipated auction of the Roy Davids Collection.

Regular Paul Fraser Collectibles readers will have seen more previews from the collection, which contains the manuscripts for Betjeman's The Arrest of Oscar Wilde, Auden's Stop the Clocks and Keats' last handwritten poem.

Winston Churchill poemChurchill was the only British prime minister to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but not for his poetry

Sir Winston Churchill's poem, which wasrecently discovered by former manuscript dealer Davids,will contend with these celebrated poets, having been given an estimate of 12,000-15,000 ($18,833-$23,500). It is entitled Our Modern Watchwords and was penned during Churchill's time with the4th Hussars, circa 1898.

The rousing 10 stanza poem, which celebrates the British Empire, reads, in part:

The shadow falls along the shore The search lights twinkle on the sea The silence of a mighty fleet Portends the tumult yet to be. The tables of the evening meal Are spread amid the great machines And thus with pride the question runs Among the sailors and marines Breathes there the man who fears to die For England, Home, & Wai-hai-wai.

Just one other example of Churchill's poetry is known, which was written as a boy and is currently housed in Harrow School. Despite the apparent rarity of his poetry, Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values".

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fine selection of Winston Churchill signed letters for sale, as well as the documents from his funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of world statesmen ever.

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