Fairies and Fusiliers
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The British author Robert Graves was a versatile and prolific writer. Considering himself mostly a poet over his lifetime he has produced many rich novels in his day. Fighting during the first world war for Britain Graves finished the poems included in "Fairies and Fusiliers".
heart to tell it right. Striding within javelin range, Goliath marvels at this strange Goodlyfaced boy so proud of strength. David's clear eye measures the length; With hand thrust back, he cramps one knee, Poises a moment thoughtfully, And hurls with a long vengeful swing. The pebble, humming from the sling Like a wild bee, flies a sure line For the forehead of the Philistine; Then . . . but there comes a brazen clink, And quicker than a man can think Goliath's shield parries each
Steel crosses wood, a flash, and oh! Shame for beauty's overthrow! (God's eyes are dim. His ears are shut.) One cruel backhand sabre-cut— "I'm hit! I'm killed!" young David cries, Throws blindly forward, chokes . . . and dies. And look, spike-helmeted, grey, grim, Goliath straddles over him. BABYLON 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 plenty For the lad of one-and-twenty, But
No one can read. "In fifty years they'll understand: Now there's no need. "All that matters now Is getting the fun. Come along, Ben and Claire; Plenty to be done." Then old Philosopher, Wisest man alive, Plays at Lions and Tigers Down along the drive— Gambolling fiercely Through bushes and grass, Making monstrous mouths, Braying like an ass, Twisting buttercups In his orange hair, Hopping like a kangaroo, Growling like a bear. Right up to
Most bitter at your extremities. Here are gloves and shoes and stockings also, That warm upon your way you may go." The man took stocking and shoe and glove, Blaspheming Christ our Saviour's love, Yet seemed to find but little relief, Shaking and shivering like a leaf. Said the saint again, "I have no great riches, Yet take this tunic, take these breeches, My shirt and my vest, take everything, And give due thanks to Jesus the King." The saint stood naked upon the snow
you curse it further, say: Who but you planted the seed In my fertile heart, one day? Ere you curse me further, say! New beginnings and new shoots Spring again from hidden roots. Pull or stab or cut or burn, Love must ever yet return. THE LADY VISITOR IN THE PAUPER WARD Why do you break upon this old, cool peace, This painted peace of ours, With harsh dress hissing like a flock of geese, With garish flowers? Why do you churn smooth waters rough again, Selfish old