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Country Sentiment   By: (1895-1985)

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First Page:


by Robert Graves

To Nancy Nicholson

Note: Some of the poems included in this volume have appeared in "The New Statesman", "The Owl", "Reveille", "Land and Water", "Poetry", and other papers, English and American.

Robert Graves.


North Wales.


A Frosty Night Song for Two Children Dicky The Three Drinkers The Boy out of Church After the Play One Hard Look True Johnny The Voice of Beauty Drowned The God Called Poetry Rocky Acres Advice to Lovers Nebuchadnezzar's Fall Give us Rain Allie Loving Henry Brittle Bones Apples and Water Manticor in Arabia Outlaws Baloo Loo for Jenny Hawk and Buckle The "Alice Jean" The Cupboard The Beacon Pot and Kettle Ghost Raddled Neglectful Edward The Well dressed Children Thunder at Night To E.M. A Ballad of Nursery Rhyme Jane Vain and Careless Nine o'Clock The Picture Book The Promised Lullaby


Haunted Retrospect: The Jests of the Clock Here They Lie Tom Taylor Country at War Sospan Fach The Leveller Hate not, Fear not A Rhyme of Friends A First Review



Alice, dear, what ails you, Dazed and white and shaken? Has the chill night numbed you? Is it fright you have taken?


Mother, I am very well, I felt never better, Mother, do not hold me so, Let me write my letter.


Sweet, my dear, what ails you?


No, but I am well; The night was cold and frosty, There's no more to tell.


Ay, the night was frosty, Coldly gaped the moon, Yet the birds seemed twittering Through green boughs of June.

Soft and thick the snow lay, Stars danced in the sky. Not all the lambs of May day Skip so bold and high.

Your feet were dancing, Alice, Seemed to dance on air, You looked a ghost or angel In the starlight there.

Your eyes were frosted starlight, Your heart fire and snow. Who was it said, "I love you"?


Mother, let me go!


"Make a song, father, a new little song, All for Jenny and Nancy." Balow lalow or Hey derry down, Or else what might you fancy?

Is there any song sweet enough For Nancy and for Jenny? Said Simple Simon to the pieman, "Indeed I know not any."

"I've counted the miles to Babylon, I've flown the earth like a bird, I've ridden cock horse to Banbury Cross, But no such song have I heard."

"Some speak of Alexander, And some of Hercules, But where are there any like Nancy and Jenny, Where are there any like these?"



Oh, what a heavy sigh! Dicky, are you ailing?


Even by this fireside, mother, My heart is failing.

To night across the down, Whistling and jolly, I sauntered out from town With my stick of holly.

Bounteous and cool from sea The wind was blowing, Cloud shadows under the moon Coming and going.

I sang old roaring songs, Ran and leaped quick, And turned home by St. Swithin's Twirling my stick.

And there as I was passing The churchyard gate An old man stopped me, "Dicky, You're walking late."

I did not know the man, I grew afeared At his lean lolling jaw, His spreading beard.

His garments old and musty, Of antique cut, His body very lean and bony, His eyes tight shut... Continue reading book >>

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