Verse > Robert Graves > Fairies and Fusiliers
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Robert Graves (1895–1985).  Fairies and Fusiliers.  1918.
 
33. Love and Black Magic
 
 
TO the woods, to the woods is the wizard gone;
In his grotto the maiden sits alone.
She gazes up with a weary smile
At the rafter-hanging crocodile,
The slowly swinging crocodile.        5
Scorn has she of her master’s gear,
Cauldron, alembic, crystal sphere,
Phial, philtre—“Fiddlededee
For all such trumpery trash!” quo’ she.
“A soldier is the lad for me;        10
Hey and hither, my lad!
 
“Oh, here have I ever lain forlorn:
My father died ere I was born,
Mother was by a wizard wed,
And oft I wish I had died instead—        15
Often I wish I were long time dead.
But, delving deep in my master’s lore,
I have won of magic power such store
I can turn a skull—oh, fiddlededee
For all this curious craft!” quo’ she.        20
“A soldier is the lad for me;
Hey and hither, my lad!
 
“To bring my brave boy unto my arms,
What need have I of magic charms—
‘Abracadabra!’ and ‘Prestopuff’?        25
I have but to wish, and that is enough.
The charms are vain, one wish is enough.
My master pledged my hand to a wizard;
Transformed would I be to toad or lizard
If e’er he guessed—but fiddlededee        30
For a black-browed sorcerer, now,” quo’ she.
“Let Cupid smile and the fiend must flee;
Hey and hither, my lad.”
 

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