The Two Brothers (An Allegory)
THE TWO BROTHERS by ROBERT GRAVES (An Allegory)
Once two brothers, Joe and Will, Parted each to choose his home, Joe on top of Windy Hill Where the storm clouds go and come All day long, but Will the other In the plain would snugly rest Low and safe yet near his brother: Low and safe he made his nest At the foot of Windy Hill, Built a clattering Watermill.
In the winter Joe would freeze, Will lay warm in his snug mill; Through the summer Joe's cool breeze Filled with envy burning Will. Yet to take all times together Both were portioned their fair due, Joe enjoyed the fine warm weather, Will could smile in winter too; Neither troubled nor complained, Each in his own home remained.
These two brothers at first sight Made a pair of Heavenly Twins, Two green peas, two birds in flight, Two fresh daisies, two new pins: Yet the second time you'd seen 'em, Seen 'em close and watched 'em well, You would find there lay between 'em All the span of Heaven and Hell, Spring and Autumn, East and West, And I know whom I liked best.
Listen: once when lofty Joe Climbing down to view the mill, Wept to find Will lived so low Would not stop to dine with Will, Will climbed back through the cloudy smother Laughed to feel he stood so high, Tossed his hat up, kissed his brother, Drank old ale, ate crusty pie... Will had no high soul, but oh Give us Will, we all hate Joe!
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|Author||Graves, Robert (1895-1985)|
|Title||The Two Brothers (An Allegory)|
|Item Date||(1995, 1997, 1999)|
|Copyright||The Robert Graves Copyright Trust|
|First line||Once two brothers, Joe and Will,|
|Publication source||Robert Graves Complete Poems: Volumes 1 - 3|
|Publication editor||Graves, Beryl and Ward, Dunstan|
|Digital repository||The First World War Poetry Digital Archive|