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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 Spring for him is no more now Than daisies to a munching cow; Just a cheery pleasant season, Daisy buds to live at ease on.
He’s forgotten how he smiled And shrieked at snowdrops when a child, Or wept one evening secretly For April’s glorious misery.
Wisdom made him old and wary Banishing the Lords of Faery.
Wisdom made a breach and battered Babylon to bits: she scattered To the hedges and ditches All our nursery gnomes and witches.
Lob and Puck, poor frantic elves, Drag their treasures from the shelves.
Jack the Giant-killer’s gone, Mother Goose and Oberon, Bluebeard and King Solomon.
Robin, and Red Riding Hood Take together to the wood, And Sir Galahad lies hid In a cave with Captain Kidd.
None of all the magic hosts, None remain but a few ghosts Of timorous heart, to linger on Weeping for lost Babylon.

by Robert Graves
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