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Editor's Selection of Poems
Cherry-Time

by Robert Graves

Cherries of the night are riper
Than the cherries pluckt at noon 
Gather to your fairy piper   
When he pipes his magic tune:   
        Merry, merry, 
        Take a cherry;   
        Mine are sounder,   
        Mine are rounder,   
        Mine are sweeter   
        For the eater
        Under the moon.   
And you’ll be fairies soon.   
   
In the cherry pluckt at night,   
With the dew of summer swelling,   
There’s a juice of pure delight, 
Cool, dark, sweet, divinely smelling.   
        Merry, merry,   
        Take a cherry;   
        Mine are sounder,   
        Mine are rounder, 
        Mine are sweeter   
        For the eater   
        In the moonlight.   
And you’ll be fairies quite.   
   
When I sound the fairy call, 
Gather here in silent meeting,   
Chin to knee on the orchard wall,   
Cooled with dew and cherries eating.   
        Merry, merry,   
        Take a cherry; 
        Mine are sounder,   
        Mine are rounder,   
        Mine are sweeter.   
        For the eater   
        When the dews fall.
And you’ll be fairies all.  
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