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Robert von Ranke Graves
1895-1985
( )



BOOKS on-line

 

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A Pinch of Salt
Return of the Goddess

 


The Wreath
 

The Wreath

A bitter year it was. What woman ever
Cared for me so, yet so ill-used me,
Came in so close and drew so far away,
So much promised and performed so little,
So murderously her own love dared betray?
Since I can never be slear out of your debt,
Queen of ingratitude, to my dying day,
You shall be punished with a deathless crown
For your dark head, resist it how you may.



A Pinch of Salt

WHEN a dream is born in you
With a sudden clamorous pain,
When you know the dream is true
And lovely, with no flaw nor strain,
O then, be careful, or with sudden clutch
You'll hurt the delicate thing you prize so much.
 
Dreams are like a bird that mocks,
Flirting the feathers of his tail.
When you sieze at the salt box,
Over the hedge you'll see him sail.
Old birds are neither caught with salt nor chaff:
They watch you from the apple bough and laugh.
 
Poet, never chase the dream.
Laugh yourself and turn away.
Mask your hunger; let it seem
Small matter if he come or stay;
But when he nestles in your hand at last,
Close up your fingers tight and hold him fast.


Return of the Goddess

Under your Milky Way
And slow-revolving Bear
Frogs from the alder thicket pray
In terror of your judgement day,
Loud with repentance there.
The log they crowned as king
Grew sodden, lurched and sank;
An owl floats by on silent wing
Dark water bubbles from the spring;
They invoke you from each bank.
At dawn you shall appear,
A gaunt red-legged crane,
You whom they know too well for fear,
Lunging your beak down like a spear
To fetch them home again.

Sufficiunt
Tecum,
Caryatis,
Domnia
Quina.


BOOKS on-line

 

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