William Morris began his serious efforts to write poetry while an undergraduate at Exeter College, Oxford in the mid-1850s. He wrote quickly and easily, amazing his friends with his facility. After taking a degree in 1855, he continued writing poems, though he pursued art as a career. He first chose architecture, joining the firm of the Gothic Revivalist G. E. Street to learn the craft, but he soon switched to painting under the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who also wrote poems. 1857 saw Morris helping Rossetti and others paint Arthurian-inspired murals in the Oxford Union, meeting his future wife Jane Burden, who was soon to become the paradigmatic Pre-Raphaelite model, and setting out to publish a volume …
Boenig, Robert. "The Defence of Guenevere and other poems". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 December 2006; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1091, accessed 28 April 2015.]