Famous Children Poem

Robert Graves lived from 1895-1985, and he fought in the First World War. His name is engraved on a stone at Westminster Abbey as a commemoration of being a Great War poet. In this poem, Allie is asked to call in the animals and children, all of which come running as she calls and sings.

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I met Sr. Graves in Deya de Mallorca in 1973. Having visited his home and met his family, he was kind to return the favor by singing this song among others that are of the repertoire of folk...

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Allie

By more Robert Graves

Allie, call the birds in,
  The birds from the sky.
Allie calls, Allie sings,
  Down they all fly.
First there came
Two white doves
  Then a sparrow from his nest,
Then a clucking bantam hen,
  Then a robin red-breast.

Allie, call the beasts in,
  The beasts, every one.
Allie calls, Allie sings,
  In they all run.
First there came
Two black lambs,
  Then a grunting Berkshire sow,
Then a dog without a tail,
  Then a red and white cow.

Allie, call the fish up,
  The fish from the stream.
Allie calls, Allie sings,
  Up they all swim.
First there came
Two gold fish,
  A minnow and a miller's thumb,
Then a pair of loving trout,
  Then the twisted eels come.

Allie, call the children,
  Children from the green.
Allie calls, Allie sings,
  Soon they run in.
First there came
Tom and Madge,
  Kate and I who'll not forget
How we played by the water's edge
  Till the April sun set.

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Carolyn Mack by Carolyn Mack
  • 8 months ago

I met Sr. Graves in Deya de Mallorca in 1973. Having visited his home and met his family, he was kind to return the favor by singing this song among others that are of the repertoire of folk songs at a dinner party where I was renting near la Cala, with other villagers and visitors. There were the children of the host, Ronnie Wathen, a local poet. I have loved this poem from the first read, for me in 1963. I met his granddaughter and she visited us a few times during the 9 month stay. We were with our children as well and although we wanted to remain there we couldn't. The result being that we painted, wrote songs and I myself made an etching of the house, la casa 12 where we had stayed, collected olives and oranges walked and wrote letters for awhile. This song, "Allie" has continued to be an inspiration to me and mine, who have a at least one granddaughter, 'Iris" to be thankful for.

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