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The Spoilsport

Robert Graves 1895 (Wimbledon) – 1985 (Deià)



My familiar ghost again
Comes to see what he can see,
Critic, son of Conscious Brain,
Spying on our privacy.

Slam the window, bolt the door,
Yet he’ll enter in and stay;
In tomorrow’s book he’ll score
Indiscretions of today.

Whispered love and muttered fears,
How their echoes fly about!
None escape his watchful ears,
Every sigh might be a shout.

No kind words nor angry cries
Turn away this grim spoilsport;
No fine lady’s pleading eyes,
Neither love, nor hate, nor … port.

Critic wears no smile of fun,
Speaks no word of blame nor praise,
Counts our kisses one by one,
Notes each gesture, every phrase.

My familiar ghost again
Stands or squats where suits him best;
Critic, son of Conscious Brain,
Listens, watches, takes no rest.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert Graves

Robert von Ranke Graves was an English poet, scholar/translator/writer of antiquity specializing in Classical Greece and Rome, novelist and soldier in World War One. more…

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