Star Talk: Robert Graves

shutterstock_39868366

‘Are you awake, Gemelli,
This frosty night?’
‘We’ll be awake till reveillé,
Which is Sunrise,’ say the Gemelli,
‘It’s no good trying to go to sleep:
If there’s wine to be got we’ll drink it deep,
But rest is hopeless to-night,
But rest is hopeless to-night.’

‘Are you cold too, poor Pleiads,
This frosty night?’
‘Yes, and so are the Hyads:
See us cuddle and hug,’ say the Pleiads,
‘All six in a ring: it keeps us warm:
We huddle together like birds in a storm:
It’s bitter weather to-night,
It’s bitter weather to-night.’

‘What do you hunt, Orion,
This starry night?’
‘The Ram, the Bull and the Lion,
And the Great Bear,’ says Orion,
‘With my starry quiver and beautiful belt
I am trying to find a good thick pelt
To warm my shoulders to-night,
To warm my shoulders to-night.

‘Did you hear that, Great She-bear,
This frosty night?
‘Yes, he’s talking of stripping me bare
Of my own big fur,’ says the She-bear,
‘I’m afraid of the man and his terrible arrow:
The thought of it chills my bones to the marrow,
And the frost so cruel to-night!
And the frost so cruel to-night!’

‘How is your trade, Aquarius,
This frosty night?’
‘Complaints is many and various
And my feet are cold,’ says Aquarius,
‘There’s Venus objects to Dolphin-scales,
And Mars to Crab-spawn found in my pails,
And the pump has frozen to-night,
And the pump has frozen to-night.’

Robert Graves

The illustration is copyright: Photosani via Shutterstock
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About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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