Robert Graves Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 48 quotes)
Dust in a cloud, blinding weather,Drums that rattle and roar!A mother and daughter stood togetherBeside their cottage door.'Mother, the heavens are bright like brass,The dust is shaken high,With labouring breath the soldiers pass,Their lips are cracked and dry.''Mother, I'll throw them apples down,I'll bring them pails of water.'The mother turned with an angry frownHolding back her daughter.'But mother, see, they faint with thirst,They march away to die,''Ah, sweet, had I but known at firstTheir throats are always dry.''There is no water can supply themIn western streams that flow,There is no fruit can satisfy themOn orchard trees that grow.''Once in my youth I gave, poor fool,A soldier apples and water,So may I die before you coolYour father's drouth, my daughter.
Poetry began in the matriarchal age, and derives its magic from the moon, not from the sun. No poet can hope to understand the nature of poetry unless he has had a vision of the Naked King crucified to the lopped oak, and watched the dancers, red-eyed from the acrid smoke of the sacrificial fires, stamping out the measure of the dance, their bodies bent uncouthly forward, with a monotonous chant of "Kill! kill! kill!" and "Blood! blood! blood!
Malthus's school was in the centre of the town of Adrianople, and was not one of those monkish schools where education is miserably limited to the bread and water of the Holy Scriptures. Bread is good and water is good, but the bodily malnutrition that may be observed in prisoners or poor peasants who are reduced to this diet has its counterpart in the spiritual malnutrition of certain clerics. These can recite the genealogy of King David of the Jews as far back as Deucalion's Flood, and behind the Flood to Adam, without a mistake, or can repeat whole chapters of the Epistles of Saint Paul as fluently as if they were poems written in metre; but in all other respects are as ignorant as fish or birds.
Down, wanton, down! Have you no shame That at the whisper of Love's name, Or Beauty's, presto! up you raise Your angry head and stand at gaze? Poor bombard-captain, sworn to reach The ravelin and effect a breach-- Indifferent what you storm or why, So be that in the breach you die! Love may be blind, but Love at least Knows what is man and what mere beast; Or Beauty wayward, but requires More delicacy from her squires. Tell me, my witless, whose one boast Could be your staunchness at the post, When were you made a man of parts To think fine and profess the arts? Will many-gifted Beauty come Bowing to your bald rule of thumb, Or Love swear loyalty to your crown? Be gone, have done! Down, wanton, down!
The White Goddess. All saints revile her, and all sober men. Ruled by the God Apollo's golden mean -In scorn of which we sailed to find her. In distant regions likeliest to hold her. Whom we desired above all things to know, Sister of the mirage and echo. It was a virtue not to stay, To go our headstrong and heroic way. Seeking her out at the volcano's head, Among pack ice, or where the track had faded. Beyond the cavern of the seven sleepers: Whose broad high brow was white as any leper's, Whose eyes were blue, with rowan-berry lips, With hair curled honey-coloured to white hips. The sap of Spring in the young wood a-stir. Will celebrate with green the Mother, And every song-bird shout awhile for her; But we are gifted, even in November. Rawest of seasons, with so huge a sense. Of her nakedly worn magnificence. We forget cruelty and past betrayal, Heedless of where the next bright bolt may fall.