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- 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.
- Robert Graves
- THIS is a wild land, country of my choice,
- With harsh craggy mountain, moor ample and bare.
- Seldom in these acres is heard any voice
- But the voice of cold water that runs here and there
- Through rocks and lank heather growing without any care.
- No mice in the heath run nor no birds cry
- For fear of the dark speck that floats in the sky.
- He soars and he hovers, rocking on his wings,
- He scans his wide parish with a sharp eye,
- He catches the trembling of small hidden things,
- He tears them in pieces, dropping from the sky:
- Tenderness and pity the land will deny
- Where life is but nourished from water and rock,
- A hardy adventure, full of fear and shock.
- Time has never journeyed to this lost land,
- Crakeberries and heather bloom out of date,
- The rocks jut, the streams flow singing on either hand,
- Careless if the season be early or late.
- The skies wander overhead, now blue, now slate:
- Winter would be known by his cold, cutting snow
- If June did not borrow his armor also.
- Yet this is my country beloved by me best,
- The very first land that rose from Chaos and the Flood,
- Nursing no fat valleys for comfort and rest,
- Trampled by no hard hooves, stained with no blood.
- Bold immortal country whose hill-tops have stood
- Strongholds for the proud gods when on earth they go,
- Terror for fat burghers in far plains below.
- 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 of a dead man.
- Across two counties he can hear
- And catch your words before you speak.
- The woodlouse or the maggot's weak
- Clamour rings in his sad ear,
- And noise so slight it would surpass
- Credence--drinking sound of grass,
- Worm talk, clashing jaws of moth
- Chumbling holes in cloth;
- The groan of ants who undertake
- Gigantic loads for honour's sake
- (Their sinews creak, their breath comes thin);
- Whir of spiders when they spin,
- And minute whispering, mumbling, sighs
- Of idle grubs and flies.
- This man is quickened so with grief,
- He wanders god-like or like thief
- Inside and out, below, above,
- Without relief seeking lost love.
- Robert Graves
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