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

33. Love and Black Magic

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.”