The Frog and the Golden Ball
She let her golden ball fall down the well
And begged a cold frog to retrieve it;
For which she kissed his ugly, gaping mouth -
Indeed, he could scarce believe it.
And seeing him transformed to his princely shape,
Who had been by hags enchanted,
She knew she could never love another man
Nor by any fate be daunted.
But what would her royal father and mother say?
They had promised her in marriage
To a cousin whose wide kingdom marched with theirs,
Who rode in a jeweled carriage.
'Our plight, dear heart, would appear past human hope
To all except you and me: to all
Who have never swum as a frog in a dark well
Or have lost a golden ball.'
'What then shall we do now?' she asked her lover.
He kissed her again, and said:
'Is magic of love less powerful at your Court
Than at this green well-head?'
Robert Graves's Other Poems
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