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Robert Graves (1895–1985). Fairies and Fusiliers. 1918.

14. Sorley’s Weather

WHEN outside the icy rain

Comes leaping helter-skelter,

Shall I tie my restive brain

Snugly under shelter?

Shall I make a gentle song

Here in my firelit study,

When outside the winds blow strong

And the lanes are muddy?

With old wine and drowsy meats

Am I to fill my belly?

Shall I glutton here with Keats?

Shall I drink with Shelley?

Tobacco’s pleasant, firelight’s good:

Poetry makes both better.

Clay is wet and so is mud,

Winter rains are wetter.

Yet rest there, Shelley, on the sill,

For though the winds come frorely,

I’m away to the rain-blown hill

And the ghost of Sorley.