Robert Graves

(1895 - 1985 / London / England)

The Cottage - Poem by Robert Graves

Here in turn succeed and rule
Carter, smith, and village fool,
Then again the place is known
As tavern, shop, and Sunday-school;
Now somehow it’s come to me
To light the fire and hold the key,
Here in Heaven to reign alone.

All the walls are white with lime,
Big blue periwinkles climb
And kiss the crumbling window-sill;
Snug inside I sit and rhyme,
Planning, poem, book, or fable,
At my darling beech-wood table
Fresh with bluebells from the hill.

Through the window I can see
Rooks above the cherry-tree,
Sparrows in the violet bed,
Bramble-bush and bumble-bee,
And old red bracken smoulders still
Among boulders on the hill,
Far too bright to seem quite dead.

But old Death, who can’t forget,
Waits his time and watches yet,
Waits and watches by the door.
Look, he’s got a great new net,
And when my fighting starts afresh
Stouter cord and smaller mesh
Won’t be cheated as before.

Nor can kindliness of Spring,
Flowers that smile nor birds that sing,
Bumble-bee nor butterfly,
Nor grassy hill nor anything
Of magic keep me safe to rhyme
In this Heaven beyond my time.
No! for Death is waiting by.

Comments about The Cottage by Robert Graves

  • (7/24/2016 9:49:00 PM)

    as inevitable as true
    and being slurped through
    (Report) Reply

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  • Amar Agarwala (7/24/2016 8:10:00 PM)

    Graves weaves a net of magic with his words. A simply beautiful poem, wonderfully etched, like a little picture-book opened in front of the eyes. Full marks! (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (7/24/2016 7:24:00 PM)

    Such beauty of image and writing.... such melancholy as th the poet waits for death to end his beautiful life and pen. Extraordinary piece of writing. (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (7/24/2016 3:53:00 PM)

    Beautiful poem. All nature's little things flow to mind like cool stream. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (7/24/2016 1:04:00 PM)

    What strikes me most is the wonderful portrayal of nature and through all this the poet presents a philosophy of life based on his own experience. I quote a few lines:
    Rooks above the cherry-tree,
    Bramble-bush and bumble-bee,
    (Report) Reply

  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (7/24/2016 11:46:00 AM)

    Oh, be not rude to Dr death
    If it not be for His cosmic grace
    We would live even in ill health
    Suffering not living in this place
    When the allotted time is past
    (which anyways flies a bit too fast)
    Walking corpses too weak to smile
    But endlessly walking on these arid miles..........
    (Report) Reply

  • (7/24/2016 11:12:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem, a pleasure to read. Thanks for sharing it here. (Report) Reply

  • Asis Biswas (7/24/2016 1:59:00 AM)

    beautiful poem written by poet robert. i liked his simple way of seeing all great things. lines are built by sweet sound words. and telling at the end, his passion for writting rhyme. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (7/24/2016 12:37:00 AM)

    To light the fire and hold the key! ! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: butterfly, magic, poem, school, heaven, death, kiss, spring, tree, smile, red, fire, alone, time, light, shopping, flower

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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