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Robert Graves Short Poems

Famous Short Robert Graves Poems. Short poetry by famous poet Robert Graves. A collection of the all-time best Robert Graves short poems


by Robert Graves
 Love is universal migraine,
A bright stain on the vision
Blotting out reason.
Symptoms of true love Are leanness, jealousy, Laggard dawns; Are omens and nightmares - Listening for a knock, Waiting for a sign: For a touch of her fingers In a darkened room, For a searching look.
Take courage, lover! Could you endure such pain At any hand but hers?



by Robert Graves
 Children born of fairy stock
Never 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 old.
Every fairy child may keep Two ponies and ten sheep; All have houses, each his own, Built of brick or granite stone; They live on cherries, they run wild-- I'd love to be a Fairy's child.

by Robert Graves
 She, then, like snow in a dark night,
Fell secretly.
And the world waked With dazzling of the drowsy eye, So that some muttered 'Too much light', And drew the curtains close.
Like snow, warmer than fingers feared, And to soil friendly; Holding the histories of the night In yet unmelted tracks.

by Robert Graves
 Walking through trees to cool my heat and pain, 
I know that David’s with me here again.
All that is simple, happy, strong, he is.
Caressingly I stroke Rough bark of the friendly oak.
A brook goes bubbling by: the voice is his.
Turf burns with pleasant smoke; I laugh at chaffinch and at primroses.
All that is simple, happy, strong, he is.
Over the whole wood in a little while Breaks his slow smile.

by Robert Graves
 An ancient saga tells us how
In 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 flesh and blood 
Blossomed, a miracle to believe: 
And so was Adam born, and Eve.
Here now is chaos once again, Primeval mud, cold stones and rain.
Here flesh decays and blood drips red, And the Cow’s dead, the old Cow’s dead.

by Robert Graves
 Desire, first, by a natural miracle
United bodies, united hearts, blazed beauty;
Transcended bodies, transcended hearts.
Two souls, now unalterably one In whole love always and for ever, Soar out of twilight, through upper air, Let fall their sensous burden.
Is it kind, though, is it honest even, To consort with none but spirits- Leaving true-wedded hearts like ours In enforced night-long separation, Each to its random bodily inclination, The thread of miracle snapped?

by Robert Graves
 Those who dare give nothing
Are left with less than nothing;
Dear heart, you give me everything,
Which leaves you more than everything-
Though those who dare give nothing
Might judge it left you less than nothing.
Giving you everything, I too, who once had nothing, Am left with more than everything As gifts for those with nothing Who need, if not our everything, At least a loving something.



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-- 
Heroes of the nursery.
The horny boatman, who has seen whales And flying fishes, who has sailed as far As Demerara and the Ivory Coast, Will warn them, when they crowd to hear his tales, That every ocean smells of tar.

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 sleep
And put out grass and flowers
Despite the snow,
Despite the falling snow.

by Robert Graves
 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) 
”War’s Hell!” and if you doubt the same, 
Today I found in Mametz Wood
A certain cure for lust of blood: 

Where, propped against a shattered trunk, 
In a great mess of things unclean, 
Sat a dead Boche; he scowled and stunk 
With clothes and face a sodden green,
Big-bellied, spectacled, crop-haired, 
Dribbling black blood from nose and beard.

by Robert Graves
 Feet and faces tingle 
In that frore land: 
Legs wobble and go wingle, 
You scarce can stand.
The skies are jewelled all around, The ploughshare snaps in the iron ground, The Finn with face like paper And eyes like a lighted taper Hurls his rough rune At the wintry moon And stamps to mark the tune.

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 you
Shine like an early drop of dew
Poised on a red rose petal.
The dew-drop carries in its eye Mountain and forest, sea and sky, With every change of weather; Contrariwise, a diamond splits The prospect into idle bits That none can piece together.

by Robert Graves
 Love without hope, as when the young bird-catcher
Swept off his tall hat to the Squire's own daughter,
So let the imprisoned larks escape and fly
Singing about her head, as she rode by.

by Robert Graves
 The bugler sent a call of high romance— 
“Lights out! Lights out!” to the deserted square.
On the thin brazen notes he threw a prayer, “God, if it’s this for me next time in France… O spare the phantom bugle as I lie Dead in the gas and smoke and roar of guns, Dead in a row with the other broken ones Lying so stiff and still under the sky, Jolly young Fusiliers too good to die.

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 silly story, lad! Though she be angry, though she would Destroy all England if she could, Yet think, what damage can she do Hanging there so far from you? Don’t heed what frightened nurses say: Moons hang much too far away.

by Robert Graves
 (from the Welsh)

May they stumble, stage by stage
On an endless Pilgrimage
Dawn and dusk, mile after mile
At each and every step a stile
At each and every step withal
May they catch their feet and fall
At each and every fall they take
May a bone within them break
And may the bone that breaks within
Not be, for variations sake
Now rib, now thigh, now arm, now shin
but always, without fail, the NECK

by Robert Graves
 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 skin-and-bone? 
Leave us to quiet dreaming and slow pain, 
Leave us alone.


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