Davies, William Henry (dāˈvĭs) [key], 1871–1940, British poet, b. Wales. Leaving school at a young age, Davies lived for a number of years as a peddler and a beggar in the United States and England. His first attempt at poetry, The Soul's Destroyer (1905), printed at his own expense, won the favorable attention of G. B. Shaw. Thereafter Davies's success was assured. The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp (1908) describes his vagabond life. Davies was a prolific poet; his favorite themes were nature and the hardships of the poor.
See his poems (ed. by O. Sitwell, 1942).