First World War Poetry Digital Archive

The Dying Knight And The Fauns

THE DYING KNIGHT AND THE FAUNS by ROBERT GRAVES

Through the dreams of yesternight My blood brother great in fight I saw lying, slowly dying Where the weary woods were sighing With the rustle of the birches, With the quiver of the larches... Woodland fauns with hairy haunches Grin in wonder through the branches, Woodland fauns who know not fear: Wondering they wander near, Munching mushrooms red as coral, Bunches, too, of rue and sorrel, With uncouth and bestial sounds, Knowing naught of war and wounds. But the crimson life-blood oozes And makes roses of the daisies, Persian carpets of the mosses--- Softly now his spirit passes As the bee forsakes the lily, As the berry leaves the holly; But the fauns still think him living, And with bay leaves they are weaving Crowns to deck him. Well they may! He was worthy of the Bay.

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