Robert Graves




Woman and Tree

To love one woman, or to sit
     Always beneath the same tall tree,
Argues a certain lack of wit
     Two steps from imbecility.

A poet, therefore, sworn to feed
     On every food the senses know,
Will claim the inexorable need
     To be Don Juan Tenorio.

Yet if, miraculously enough,
     (And why set miracles apart?)
Woman and tree prove of a stuff
     Wholly to glamour his wild heart?

And if such visions from the void
     As shone in fever there, or there,
Assemble, hold and are enjoyed
     On climbing one familiar stair…?

To change and chance he took a vow,
     As he thought fitting. None the less,
What of a phoenix on the bough,
     Or a sole woman’s fatefulness?