Lionel Pigot Johnson was an English poet, essayist and critic. He was born at Broadstairs, and educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford, graduating in 1890. He became a Catholic convert in 1891. He lived a solitary life in London, struggling with alcoholism and his repressed homosexuality. He died of a stroke after a fall in the street, though it was said to be a fall from a barstool in the Green Dragon in Fleet Street.
During his lifetime were published his The Art of Thomas Hardy, Poems, Ireland and Other Poems. He was one of the Rhymers' Club, and cousin to Olivia Shakespear.
In 1891, Johnson converted to Catholicism. He repudiated former friend Oscar Wilde and directed a sonnet at him called "The Destroyer of a Soul". In the following year, Johnson wrote what some consider his masterpiece, "The Dark Angel".
"The Dark Angel" also served as one of the influences for the Dark Angels chapter of Space Marines in the Warhammer 40,000 fictional universe. Their Primarch, Lion El'Jonson, is also named after the poet.
My windows open to the autumn night, In vain I watched for sleep to visit me, How should sleep dull mine ears, and dim my sight, Who saw the stars, and listened to the sea? Ah, how the City of our God is fair! If, without sea, and starless though it be, For joy of the majestic beauty there, Men shall not miss the stars, nor mourn the sea.