(1895 - 1985 / London / England)

The Lady Visitor In The Pauper Ward

Why do you break upon this old, cool peace,
This painted peace of ours,
With harsh dress hissing like a flock of geese,
With garish flowers?
Why do you churn smooth waters rough again,
Selfish old skin-and-bone?
Leave us to quiet dreaming and slow pain,
Leave us alone.

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Comments (1)

The lady is not welcome in the poorhouse. The men were in peace until she arrived 'With harsh dress...With garish flowers? ' The paupers want to be left 'to quiet dreaming and slow pain'. From my visits to similar rest homes, there is a lot of pain to be seen and sensed. They can be depressing places, not where I want to be. Graves is better writing shorter poems, than his too-long ones. The criticism applies to many other poets.