Friday, 29 March 2013

Tricky

An answer to Dicky, by Robert Graves is Tricky, by Sam Liddicott

First the original poem, and then the answer.

DICKY by ROBERT GRAVES

Mother:
Oh, what a heavy sigh!
Dicky, are you ailing?

Dicky:
Even by this fireside, mother,
My heart is failing.

To-night, across the down,
   Whistling and jolly,
I sauntered out from town
   With my stick of holly.

Bounteous and cool from sea
   The wind was blowing,
Cloud shadows under the moon
   Coming and going.

I sang old roaring songs,
   Ran and leaped quick,
And turned home by St. Swithin's
   Twirling my stick.

And there as I was passing
   The churchyard gate,
An old man stopped me, 'Dicky,
   You're walking late.'

I did not know the man,
   I grew afeared
At his lean, lolling jaw,
   His spreading beard,

His garments old and musty,
   Of antique cut,
His body very lean and bony,
   His eyes tight shut.

Oh, even to tell it now
   My courage ebbs...
His face was clay, mother,
   His beard, cobwebs.

In that long horrid pause
   'Good-night,' he said,
Entered and clicked the gate,
   'Each to his bed.'

Mother:
Do not sigh or fear, Dicky.
   How is it right
To grudge the dead their ghostly dark
   And wan moonlight?

We have the glorious sun,
   Lamp and fireside.
Grudge not the dead their moon-beams
   When abroad they ride.

In my poem, I wished to tell the other side of a perhaps less fearful story.
Thinks aren't always what they seem, and sometimes, not even that.

Tricky, by Sam Liddicott


Uncle:
Oh, what a merry sound!
Ricky, are you chuckling?

Ricky:
This evening by this fire,
Uncle, My heart is laughing.

To-night, across the down,
   Whistling and jolly,
From town young Dicky sauntered
   With a stick of holly.

Bounteous and cool from sea
   The wind was blowing,
Cloud shadows under the moon
   Coming and going.

He sang old roaring songs,
   Ran, and leaping quick,
He turned home by St. Swithin's
   Twirling his stick.

And there as he was passing
   The churchyard gate,
Greeting him, I said: 'Dicky,
   You're walking late.'

I think he did not know me,
   He looked afeared
And my jaw, open fell,
   My theatre beard!

This outfit old and musty,
   Of antique cut!
I rocked in silent laugher,
   My eyes tight shut.

Oh, even to tell it now
   My humour rises...
His face was petrified,
   by costume trousers!

After an awkward pause
   'Good-night,' I said,
Passing through the churchyard gate,
   'Each to his bed.'

Uncle:
Do not laugh at fear, Ricky.
   How is it right
To terrify a little lad
   in the moonlight?

When by the glorious sun,
   Lamp and fireside.
 He knows you as a friend; so:
   Do not deride.

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