Robert Graves
Retrospect: The Jests Of The Clock by Robert Graves

Retrospect: The Jests Of The Clock by Robert Graves

He had met hours of the clock he never guessed before- Dumb, dragging, mirthless hours confused with dreams and fear, Bone-chilling, hungry hours when the Gods sleep and snore, ...

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Country At War by Robert Graves

Country At War by Robert Graves

And what of home--how goes it, boys,While we die here in stench and noise?'The hill stands up and hedges windOver the crest and drop behind;Here swallows dip and wild things goOn ...

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Call It A Good Marriage by Robert Graves

Call It A Good Marriage by Robert Graves

Call it a good marriage - For no one ever questioned Her warmth, his masculinity,Their interlocking views;Except one stray graphologistWho frowned in speculation At her h's and ...

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A Slice Of Wedding Cake by Robert Graves

A Slice Of Wedding Cake by Robert Graves

Why have such scores of lovely, gifted girlsMarried impossible men?Simple self-sacrifice may be ruled out,And missionary endeavour, nine times out of ten.Repeat 'impossible men': ...

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Babylon by Robert Graves

Babylon by Robert Graves

The child alone a poet is:Spring and Fairyland are his.Truth and Reason show but dim,And all’s poetry with him. Rhyme and music flow in plentyFor the lad of one-and-twenty, But ...

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A Pinch Of Salt by Robert Graves

A Pinch Of Salt by Robert Graves

When a dream is born in youWith a sudden clamorous pain,When you know the dream is trueAnd lovely, with no flaw nor stain,O then, be careful, or with sudden clutchYou'll hurt the ...

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A Boy In Church by Robert Graves

A Boy In Church by Robert Graves

“Gabble-gabble,… brethren,… gabble-gabble!” My window frames forest and heather. I hardly hear the tuneful babble, Not knowing nor much caring whether The text is praise or ...

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Corporal Stare by Robert Graves

Corporal Stare by Robert Graves

Back from the line one night in June, I gave a dinner at Bethune— Seven courses, the most gorgeous meal Money could buy or batman steal. Five hungry lads welcomed the fishWith ...

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Careers by Robert Graves

Careers by Robert Graves

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. Besides, now I can’t be the ...

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Cherry-Time by Robert Graves

Cherry-Time by Robert Graves

Cherries of the night are riperThan the cherries pluckt at noon Gather to your fairy piper When he pipes his magic tune: Merry, merry, Take a cherry; Mine ...

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A Child’s Nightmare by Robert Graves

A Child’s Nightmare by Robert Graves

Through long nursery nights he stoodBy my bed unwearying,Loomed gigantic, formless, queer,Purring in my haunted earThat same hideous nightmare thing,Talking, as he lapped my ...

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A Frosty Night by Robert Graves

A Frosty Night by Robert Graves

Mother: Alice, dear, what ails you,Dazed and white and shaken? Has the chill night numbed you? Is it fright you have taken? Alice: Mother I am very well,I felt never better; ...

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An Old Twenty-Third Man by Robert Graves

An Old Twenty-Third Man by Robert Graves

“Is that the Three-and-Twentieth, Strabo mine, Marching below, and we still gulping wine?” From the sad magic of his fragrant cup The red-faced old centurion started up, Cursed, ...

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Symptoms Of Love by Robert Graves

Symptoms Of Love by Robert Graves

Love is universal migraine,A bright stain on the visionBlotting out reason. Symptoms of true loveAre leanness, jealousy,Laggard dawns; Are omens and nightmares -Listening for a ...

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Lost Love by Robert Graves

Lost Love by Robert Graves

His eyes are quickened so with grief, He can watch a grass or leaf Every instant grow; he can Clearly through a flint wall see, Or watch the startled spirit flee From the throat ...

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She Tells Her Love by Robert Graves

She Tells Her Love by Robert Graves

She tells her love while half asleep,In the dark hours,With half-words whispered low:As Earth stirs in her winter sleepAnd put out grass and flowersDespite the snow,Despite the ...

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Thunder At Night by Robert Graves

Thunder At Night by Robert Graves

Restless and hot two children layPlagued with uneasy dreams,Each wandered lonely through false dayA twilight torn with screams.True to the bed-time story, BenPursued his wounded ...

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An English Wood by Robert Graves

An English Wood by Robert Graves

This valley wood is pledgedTo the set shape of things,And reasonably hedged:Here are no harpies fledged,No rocs may clap their wings,Nor gryphons wave their stings.Here, poised in ...

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I’D Love To Be A Fairy’s Child by Robert Graves

I’D Love To Be A Fairy’s Child by Robert Graves

Children born of fairy stockNever need for shirt or frock,Never want for food or fire,Always get their hearts desire:Jingle pockets full of gold,Marry when they're seven years ...

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Down, Wanton, Down! by Robert Graves

Down, Wanton, Down! by Robert Graves

Down, wanton, down! Have you no shame That at the whisper of Love's name, Or Beauty's, presto! up you raise Your angry head and stand at gaze? Poor bombard-captain, sworn to reach ...

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1915 by Robert Graves

1915 by Robert Graves

I’ve watched the Seasons passing slow, so slow, In the fields between La Bassee and Bethune; Primroses and the first warm day of Spring, Red poppy floods of June, August, and ...

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Dew-Drop And Diamond by Robert Graves

Dew-Drop And Diamond by Robert Graves

The difference between you and her(whom I to you did once prefer)Is clear enough to settle:She like a diamond shone, but youShine like an early drop of dewPoised on a red rose ...

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Like Snow by Robert Graves

Like Snow by Robert Graves

She, then, like snow in a dark night,Fell secretly. And the world wakedWith dazzling of the drowsy eye,So that some muttered 'Too much light',And drew the curtains close.Like ...

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To Juan At The Winter Solstice by Robert Graves

To Juan At The Winter Solstice by Robert Graves

There is one story and one story onlyThat will prove worth your telling,Whether as learned bard or gifted child;To it all lines or lesser gauds belongThat startle with their ...

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The Cottage by Robert Graves

The Cottage by Robert Graves

Here in turn succeed and rule Carter, smith, and village fool, Then again the place is known As tavern, shop, and Sunday-school; Now somehow it’s come to me To light the fire and ...

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The Next War by Robert Graves

The Next War by Robert Graves

You young friskies who todayJump and fight in Father’s hay With bows and arrows and wooden spears, Playing at Royal Welch Fusiliers, Happy though these hours you spend,Have they ...

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Love Without Hope by Robert Graves

Love Without Hope by Robert Graves

Love without hope, as when the young bird-catcherSwept off his tall hat to the Squire's own daughter,So let the imprisoned larks escape and flySinging about her head, as she rode ...

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Smoke-Rings by Robert Graves

Smoke-Rings by Robert Graves

BOY Most venerable and learned sir, Tall and true Philosopher, These rings of smoke you blow all day With such deep thought, what sense have they? PHILOSOPHER Small friend, with ...

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A Rhyme Of Friends by Robert Graves

A Rhyme Of Friends by Robert Graves

Listen now this timeShortly to my rhymeThat herewith startsAbout certain kind heartsIn those stricken partsThat lie behind Calais,Old crones and aged menAnd young children.About ...

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Dead Cow Farm by Robert Graves

Dead Cow Farm by Robert Graves

An ancient saga tells us howIn the beginning the First Cow (For nothing living yet had birth But Elemental Cow on earth) Began to lick cold stones and mud:Under her warm tongue ...

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The Naked And The Nude by Robert Graves

The Naked And The Nude by Robert Graves

For me, the naked and the nude (By lexicographers construedAs synonyms that should expressThe same deficiency of dressOr shelter) stand as wide apartAs love from lies, or truth ...

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To Lucasta On Going To The War – For The Fourth Time by Robert Graves

To Lucasta On Going To The War – For The Fourth Time by Robert Graves

It doesn’t matter what’s the cause, What wrong they say we’re righting, A curse for treaties, bonds and laws, When we’re to do the fighting! And since we lads are proud and ...

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When I’M Killed by Robert Graves

When I’M Killed by Robert Graves

When I’m killed, don’t think of meBuried there in Cambrin Wood,Nor as in Zion think of meWith the Intolerable Good.And there’s one thing that I know well,I’m damned if I’ll be ...

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

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

I never dreamed we’d meet that day In our old haunts down Fricourt way, Plotting such marvellous journeys there For jolly old “Apres-la-guerre.” Well, when it’s over, first we’ll ...

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Counting The Beats by Robert Graves

Counting The Beats by Robert Graves

You, love, and I,(He whispers) you and I,And if no more than only you and IWhat care you or I ?Counting the beats,Counting the slow heart beats,The bleeding to death of time in ...

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In Broken Images by Robert Graves

In Broken Images by Robert Graves

He is quick, thinking in clear images;I am slow, thinking in broken images. He becomes dull, trusting to his clear images;I become sharp, mistrusting my broken images. Trusting ...

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Warning To Children by Robert Graves

Warning To Children by Robert Graves

Children, if you dare to thinkOf the greatness, rareness, muchnessFewness of this precious onlyEndless world in which you sayYou live, you think of things like this:Blocks of ...

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The Cruel Moon by Robert Graves

The Cruel Moon by Robert Graves

The cruel Moon hangs out of reach Up above the shadowy beech. Her face is stupid, but her eye Is small and sharp and very sly. Nurse says the Moon can drive you mad? No, that’s a ...

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Welsh Incident by Robert Graves

Welsh Incident by Robert Graves

'But that was nothing to what things came outFrom the sea-caves of Criccieth yonder.''What were they? Mermaids? dragons? ghosts?''Nothing at all of any things like that.''What ...

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Two Fusiliers by Robert Graves

Two Fusiliers by Robert Graves

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 bind our lovely friendship fast, By firmer stuffClose bound enough. ...

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A Ballad Of Nursery Rhyme by Robert Graves

A Ballad Of Nursery Rhyme by Robert Graves

Strawberries that in gardens growAre plump and juicy fine,But sweeter far as wise men knowSpring from the woodland vine.No need for bowl or silver spoon,Sugar or spice or ...

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The Shivering Beggar by Robert Graves

The Shivering Beggar by Robert Graves

NEAR Clapham village, where fields began, Saint Edward met a beggar man. It was Christmas morning, the church bells tolled, The old man trembled for the fierce cold. Saint Edward ...

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To Robert Nichols by Robert Graves

To Robert Nichols by Robert Graves

(From Frise on the Somme in February, 1917, in answer to a letter saying: “I am just finishing my ‘Faun’s Holiday.’ I wish you were here to feed him with cherries.”)Here by a ...

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In The Wilderness by Robert Graves

In The Wilderness by Robert Graves

Christ of His gentleness Thirsting and hungering, Walked in the wilderness; Soft words of grace He spoke Unto lost desert-folkThat listened wondering. He heard the bitterns call ...

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The Beach by Robert Graves

The Beach by Robert Graves

Louder than gulls the little children scream Whom fathers haul into the jovial foam; But others fearlessly rush in, breast high, Laughing the salty water from their mouthes- ...

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A First Review by Robert Graves

A First Review by Robert Graves

Love, Fear and Hate and Childish ToysAre here discreetly blent;Admire, you ladies, read, you boys,My Country Sentiment.But Kate says, 'Cut that anger and fear,True love's the ...

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Escape by Robert Graves

Escape by Robert Graves

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 more. I woke when I’d ...

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Allie by Robert Graves

Allie by Robert Graves

Allie, call the birds in,The birds from the sky.Allie calls, Allie sings,Down they all fly.First there cameTwo white dovesThen a sparrow from his nest,Then a clucking bantam ...

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Love And Black Magic by Robert Graves

Love And Black Magic by Robert Graves

To the woods, to the woods is the wizard gone;In his grotto the maiden sits alone. She gazes up with a weary smile At the rafter-hanging crocodile, The slowly swinging crocodile. ...

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Strong Beer by Robert Graves

Strong Beer by Robert Graves

“What do you think The bravest drink Under the sky?” “Strong beer,” said I. “There’s a place for everything,Everything, anything, There’s a place for everything Where it ought to ...

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