Robert Graves: To an Ungentle Critic

To an Ungentle Critic

The great sun sinks behind the town Through a red mist of Volnay wine.... But what's the use of setting down That glorious blaze behind the town? You'll only skip the page, you'll look For newer pictures in this book; You've read of sunsets rich as mine.
A fresh wind fills the evening air With horrid crying of night birds.... But what reads new or curious there When cold winds fly across the air? You'll only frown; you'll turn the page, But find no glimpse of your "New Age Of Poetry" in my worn-out words.
Must winds that cut like blades of steel And sunsets swimming in Volnay, The holiest, cruellest pains I feel, Die stillborn, because old men squeal For something new: "Write something new: We've read this poem—that one too, And twelve more like 'em yesterday"?
No, no! my chicken, I shall scrawl Just what I fancy as I strike it, Fairies and Fusiliers, and all Old broken knock-kneed thought will crawl Across my verse in the classic way. And, sir, be careful what you say; There are old-fashioned folk still like it.