Youth And Folly
YOUTH AND FOLLY by ROBERT GRAVES
('Life is a very awful thing! You young fellows are too busy being jolly to realize the folly of your lives.' ---A Charterhouse Sermon)
In Chapel often when I bawl
The hymns, to show I'm musical,
With bright eye and cheery voice
Bidding Christian folk rejoice,
Shame be it said, I've not a thought
Of the One Being whom I ought
To worship: with unwitting roar
Other godheads I adore.
I celebrate the Gods of Mirth
And Love and Youth and Springing Earth,
Bacchus, beautiful, divine,
Gulping down his heady wine,
Dear Pan piping in his hollow,
Fiery-headed King Apollo
And rugged Atlas all aloof
Holding up the purple roof.
I have often felt and sung,
'It's a good thing to be young:
Though the preacher says it's folly,
Is it foolish to be jolly?'
I have often prayed in fear,
'Let me never grow austere;
Let me never think, I pray,
Too much about Judgment Day; Never, never feel in Spring, Life's a very awful thing!' Then I realize and start
And curse my arrogant young heart, Bind it over to confess
Its horrible ungodliness,
Set myself penances, and sigh That I was born in sin, and try
To find the whole world vanity.
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|Author||Graves, Robert (1895-1985)|
|Title||Youth And Folly|
|Item Date||(1995, 1997, 1999)|
|Copyright||The Robert Graves Copyright Trust|
|First line||In Chapel often when I bawl|
|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|