Verse > Robert Graves > Fairies and Fusiliers
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Robert Graves (1895–1985).  Fairies and Fusiliers.  1918.
 
41. The Assault Heroic
 
 
DOWN in the mud I lay,
Tired out by my long day
Of five damned days and nights,
Five sleepless days and nights,…
Dream-snatched, and set me where        5
The dungeon of Despair
Looms over Desolate Sea,
Frowning and threatening me
With aspect high and steep—
A most malignant keep.        10
My foes that lay within
Shouted and made a din,
Hooted and grinned and cried:
“Today we’ve killed your pride;
Today your ardour ends.        15
We’ve murdered all your friends;
We’ve undermined by stealth
Your happiness and your health.
We’ve taken away your hope;
Now you may droop and mope        20
To misery and to Death.”
But with my spear of Faith,
Stout as an oaken rafter,
With my round shield of laughter,
With my sharp, tongue-like sword        25
That speaks a bitter word,
I stood beneath the wall
And there defied them all.
The stones they cast I caught
And alchemized with thought        30
Into such lumps of gold
As dreaming misers hold.
The boiling oil they threw
Fell in a shower of dew,
Refreshing me; the spears        35
Flew harmless by my ears,
Struck quivering in the sod;
There, like the prophet’s rod,
Put leaves out, took firm root,
And bore me instant fruit.        40
My foes were all astounded,
Dumbstricken and confounded,
Gaping in a long row;
They dared not thrust nor throw.
Thus, then, I climbed a steep        45
Buttress and won the keep,
And laughed and proudly blew
My horn, “Stand to! Stand to!
Wake up, sir! Here’s a new
Attack! Stand to! Stand to!”        50
 

CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors