The Pier-Glass – Robert Graves

The Pier-Glass Lost manor where I walk continually A ghost, while yet in woman’s flesh and blood; Up your broad stairs mounting with outspread fingers…

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Sospan Fach – Robert Graves

Sospan Fach (The Little Saucepan) Four collier lads from Ebbw Vale Took shelter from a shower of hail, And there beneath a spreading tree Attuned…

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It’s A Queer Time – Robert Graves

It’s A Queer Time It’s hard to know if you’re alive or dead When steel and fire go roaring through your head. One moment you’ll…

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An Old Twenty-Third Man – Robert Graves

An Old Twenty-Third Man “Is that the Three-and-Twentieth, Strabo mine, Marching below, and we still gulping wine?” From the sad magic of his fragrant cup…

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The Kiss – Robert Graves

The Kiss Are you shaken, are you stirred By a whisper of love, Spellbound to a word Does Time cease to move, Till her calm…

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Outlaws – Robert Graves

Outlaws Owls: they whinney down the night, Bats go zigzag by. Ambushed in shadow out of sight The outlaws lie. Old gods, shrunk to shadows,…

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Flying Crooked – Robert Graves

Flying Crooked The butterfly, the cabbage white, (His honest idiocy of flight) Will never now, it is too late, Master the art of flying straight,…

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A First Review – Robert Graves

A First Review Love, Fear and Hate and Childish Toys Are here discreetly blent; Admire, you ladies, read, you boys, My Country Sentiment. But Kate…

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The Troll’s Nosegay – Robert Graves

The Troll’s Nosegay A simple nosegay! Was that much to ask? (Winter still nagged, with scarce a bud yet showing.) He loved her ill, if…

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The Cool Web – Robert Graves

The Cool Web Children are dumb to say how hot the day is, How hot the scent is of the summer rose, How dreadful the…

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Lost Love – Robert Graves

Lost Love His eyes are quickened so with grief, He can watch a grass or leaf Every instant grow; he can Clearly through a flint…

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Country At War – Robert Graves

Country At War And what of home–how goes it, boys, While we die here in stench and noise? ‘The hill stands up and hedges wind…

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The Picture Book – Robert Graves

The Picture Book When I was not quite five years old I first saw the blue picture book, And Fraulein Spitzenburger told Stories that sent…

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Sorley’s Weather – Robert Graves

Sorley’s Weather When outside the icy rain Comes leaping helter-skelter, Shall I tie my restive brain Snugly under shelter? Shall I make a gentle song…

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I’d Love To Be A Fairy’s Child – Robert Graves

I’D Love To Be A Fairy’s Child Children born of fairy stock Never need for shirt or frock, Never want for food or fire, Always…

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After The Play – Robert Graves

After The Play Father Have you spent the money I gave you to-day? John Ay, father I have. A fourpence on cakes, two pennies that…

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Vain And Careless – Robert Graves

Vain And Careless Lady, lovely lady, Careless and gay! Once when a beggar called She gave her child away. The beggar took the baby, Wrapped…

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The God Called Poetry – Robert Graves

The God Called Poetry Now I begin to know at last, These nights when I sit down to rhyme, The form and measure of that…

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Nine O’clock – Robert Graves

Nine O’Clock I. Nine of the clock, oh! Wake my lazy head! Your shoes of red morocco, Your silk bed-gown: Rouse, rouse, speck-eyed Mary In…

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Fox’s Dingle – Robert Graves

Fox’s Dingle Take now a country mood, Resolve, distil it: — Nine Acre swaying alive, June flowers that fill it, Spicy sweet-briar bush, The uneasy…

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A Dead Boche – Robert Graves

A Dead Boche To you who’d read my songs of War And only hear of blood and fame, I’ll say (you’ve heard it said before)…

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The Voice Of Beauty Drowned – Robert Graves

The Voice Of Beauty Drowned ‘Cry from the thicket my heart’s bird!’ The other birds woke all around; Rising with toot and howl they stirred…

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The Beach – Robert Graves

The Beach Louder than gulls the little children scream Whom fathers haul into the jovial foam; But others fearlessly rush in, breast high, Laughing the…

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Loving Henry – Robert Graves

Loving Henry Henry, Henry, do you love me? Do I love you, Mary? Oh, can you mean to liken me To the aspen tree. Whose…

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Cherry-Time – Robert Graves

Cherry-Time Cherries of the night are riper Than the cherries pluckt at noon Gather to your fairy piper When he pipes his magic tune:         Merry,…

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The Persian Version – Robert Graves

The Persian Version Truth-loving Persians do not dwell upon The trivial skirmish fought near Marathon. As for the Greek theatrical tradition Which represents that summer’s…

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Song- One Hard Look – Robert Graves

Song- One Hard Look Small gnats that fly In hot July And lodge in sleeping ears, Can rouse therein A trumpet’s din With Day-of-Judgement fears….

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Hawk And Buckle – Robert Graves

Hawk And Buckle Where is the landlord of old Hawk and Buckle, And what of Master Straddler this hot summer weather? He’s along in the…

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A Valentine – Robert Graves

A Valentine The hunter to the husbandman Pays tribute since our love began, And to love-loyalty dedicates The phantom kills he meditates. Let me embrace,…

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True Johnny – Robert Graves

True Johnny Mary: Johnny, sweetheart, can you be true To all those famous vows you’ve made? Will you love me as I love you Until…

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The General Elliott – Robert Graves

The General Elliott He fell in victory’s fierce pursuit, Holed through and through with shot, A sabre sweep had hacked him deep Twixt neck and…

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Not Dead – Robert Graves

Not Dead Walking through trees to cool my heat and pain, I know that David’s with me here again. All that is simple, happy, strong,…

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Free Verse – Robert Graves

Free Verse I now delight In spite Of the might And the right Of classic tradition, In writing And reciting Straight ahead, Without let or…

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A Child’s Nightmare – Robert Graves

A Child’s Nightmare Through long nursery nights he stood By my bed unwearying, Loomed gigantic, formless, queer, Purring in my haunted ear That same hideous…

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The Travellers’ Curse After Misdirection – Robert Graves

The Travellers’ Curse After Misdirection (from the Welsh) May they stumble, stage by stage On an endless Pilgrimage Dawn and dusk, mile after mile At…

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The Beacon – Robert Graves

The Beacon The silent shepherdess, She of my vows, Here with me exchanging love Under dim boughs. Shines on our mysteries A sudden spark– ‘Dout…

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Like Snow – Robert Graves

Like Snow She, then, like snow in a dark night, Fell secretly. And the world waked With dazzling of the drowsy eye, So that some…

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Corporal Stare – Robert Graves

Corporal Stare Back from the line one night in June, I gave a dinner at Bethune— Seven courses, the most gorgeous meal Money could buy…

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The Patchwork Quilt – Robert Graves

The Patchwork Quilt Here is this patchwork quilt I’ve made Of patterned silks and old brocade, Small faded rags in memory rich Sewn each to…

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Smoke-Rings – Robert Graves

Smoke-Rings BOY Most venerable and learned sir, Tall and true Philosopher, These rings of smoke you blow all day With such deep thought, what sense…

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Haunted – Robert Graves

Haunted Gulp down your wine, old friends of mine, Roar through the darkness, stamp and sing And lay ghost hands on everything, But leave the…

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An English Wood – Robert Graves

An English Wood This valley wood is pledged To the set shape of things, And reasonably hedged: Here are no harpies fledged, No rocs may…

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Two Fusiliers – Robert Graves

Two Fusiliers And have we done with War at last? Well, we’ve been lucky devils both, And there’s no need of pledge or oath To…

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The Frog And The Golden Ball – Robert Graves

The Frog And The Golden Ball She let her golden ball fall down the well And begged a cold frog to retrieve it; For which…

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Neglectful Edward – Robert Graves

Neglectful Edward Nancy ‘Edward back from the Indian Sea, What have you brought for Nancy?’ Edward ‘A rope of pearls and a gold earring, And…

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Escape – Robert Graves

Escape August 6, 1916.—Officer previously reported died of wounds, now reported wounded: Graves, Captain R., Royal Welch Fusiliers.) …but I was dead, an hour or…

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A Boy In Church – Robert Graves

A Boy In Church “Gabble-gabble,… brethren,… gabble-gabble!” My window frames forest and heather. I hardly hear the tuneful babble, Not knowing nor much caring whether…

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The Three Drinkers – Robert Graves

The Three Drinkers Blacksmith Green had three strong sons, With bread and beef did fill ’em, Now John and Ned are perished and dead, But…

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The Bough Of Nonsense – Robert Graves

The Bough Of Nonsense AN IDYLL Back from the Somme two Fusiliers Limped painfully home; the elder said, S. “Robert, I’ve lived three thousand years…

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Letter To S.S. From Mametz Wood – Robert Graves

Letter To S.S. From Mametz Wood I never dreamed we’d meet that day In our old haunts down Fricourt way, Plotting such marvellous journeys there…

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Careers – Robert Graves

Careers Father is quite the greatest poet     That ever lived anywhere. You say you’re going to write great music—     I chose that first: it’s unfair….

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The Patchwork Bonnet – Robert Graves

The Patchwork Bonnet Across the room my silent love I throw, Where you sit sewing in bed by candlelight, Your young stern profile and industrious…

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She Tells Her Love – Robert Graves

She Tells Her Love She tells her love while half asleep, In the dark hours, With half-words whispered low: As Earth stirs in her winter…

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I Wonder What It Feels Like To Be Drowned – Robert Graves

I Wonder What It Feels Like To Be Drowned Look at my knees, That island rising from the steamy seas! The candles a tall lightship;…

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A Song For Two Children – Robert Graves

A Song For Two Children ‘Make a song, father, a new little song, All for Jenny and Nancy.’ Balow lalow or Hey derry down, Or…

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To Robert Nichols – Robert Graves

To Robert Nichols (From Frise on the Somme in February, 1917, in answer to a letter saying: “I am just finishing my ‘Faun’s Holiday.’ I…

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The Cupboard – Robert Graves

The Cupboard Mother: What’s in that cupboard, Mary? Mary: Which cupboard, mother dear? Mother: The cupboard of red mahogany With handles shining clear. Mary: That…

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Nebuchadnezzar’s Fall – Robert Graves

Nebuchadnezzar’s Fall Frowning over the riddle that Daniel told, Down through the mist hung garden, below a feeble sun, The King of Persia walked: oh,…

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Dicky – Robert Graves

Dicky Mother Oh, what a heavy sigh! Dicky, are you ailing? Dicky Even by this fireside, mother, My heart is failing. To-night across the down,…

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A Ballad Of Nursery Rhyme – Robert Graves

A Ballad Of Nursery Rhyme Strawberries that in gardens grow Are plump and juicy fine, But sweeter far as wise men know Spring from the…

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