by Robert Graves (1895 - 1985)

Lost love
Language: English 
His eyes are quickened so with grief, 
He can watch a grass or leaf 
Every instant grow; he can 
Clearly through a flint wall see, 
Or watch the startled spirit flee 
From the throat of a dead man. 
Across two counties he can hear 
And catch your words before you speak. 
The woodlouse or the maggot's weak 
Clamour rings in his sad ear, 
And noise so slight it would surpass 
Credence--drinking sound of grass, 
Worm talk, clashing jaws of moth 
Chumbling holes in cloth; 
The groan of ants who undertake 
Gigantic loads for honour's sake 
(Their sinews creak, their breath comes thin); 
Whir of spiders when they spin, 
And minute whispering, mumbling, sighs 
Of idle grubs and flies. 
This man is quickened so with grief, 
He wanders god-like or like thief 
Inside and out, below, above, 
Without relief seeking lost love. 


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-12-15
Line count: 24
Word count: 141