The child alone a poet is: Spring and Fairyland are his. Truth and Reason show but dim, And all's poetry with him. Rhyme and music flow in plenty For the lad of one-and-twenty, But Spring for him is no more now Than daisies to a munching cow; Just a cheery pleasant season, Daisy buds to live at ease on. He's forgotten how he smiled And shrieked at snowdrops when a child, Or wept one evening secretly For April's glorious misery. Wisdom made him old and wary Banishing the Lords of Faery. Wisdom made a breach and battered Babylon to bits: she scattered To the hedges and ditches All our nursery gnomes and witches. Lob and Puck, poor frantic elves, Drag their treasures from the shelves. Jack the Giant-killer's gone, Mother Goose and Oberon, Bluebeard and King Solomon. Robin, and Red Riding Hood Take together to the wood, And Sir Galahad lies hid In a cave with Captain Kidd. None of all the magic hosts, None remain but a few ghosts Of timorous heart, to linger on Weeping for lost Babylon.
Published in 1918.
This poem is in the public domain.
The author of numerous collections of poetry, novels, and translation, Robert Graves fought in World War I and was viewed as an accomplished war poet. Also the author of the historical novel I, Claudius, Graves died in Majorca in 1985.
Date Published: 1918-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/babylon