First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Love And Black Magic

LOVE AND BLACK MAGIC by ROBERT GRAVES

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. 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; 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--- 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. '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"? 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 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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