Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Dicky
By Robert Graves
 
From “Songs and Catches”

Oh, what a heavy sigh!
  Dick, are you ailing?
Even by this fireside, Mother,
  My heart is failing.
 
Tonight across the down,        5
  Whistling and jolly,
I sauntered out from town
  With my stick of holly.
 
Bounteous and cool from sea
  The wind was blowing,        10
Cloud shadows under the moon
  Coming and going.
 
I sang old heathen songs,
  Ran and leaped quick,
And turned home by St. Swithin’s        15
  Twirling my stick.
 
And there, as I was passing
  The churchyard gate,
An old man stopped me: “Dicky,
  You’re walking late.”        20
 
I did not know the man;
  I grew afeard
At his lean lolling jaw,
  His spreading beard,
 
His garments old and musty        25
  Of antique cut,
His body very lean and bony,
  His eyes tight shut.
 
Oh, even to tell it now
  My courage ebbs!        30
His face was clay, Mother,
  His beard cobwebs.
 
In that long horrid pause,
  “Good-night,” he said;
Entered and clicked the gate—        35
  “Each to his bed.”
 
Do not sigh or fear, Dicky!
  How is it right
To grudge the dead their ghostly dark
  And wan moonlight?        40
 
We have the glorious sun,
  Lamp and fireside.
Grudge not the dead their moonshine
  When abroad they ride.
 
 
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