Enclosure – Poem to RG from Jenny Nicholson: "Bills"

Bills (to Robert who paid them).
To hysterically [sic: hystericaly] shriek "Bill"
Nearly always will
Bring thousands of men from the streets.
But you might have meant Bills
That advertise Pills
And spots and Potted Meats
For necessary [sic: unnesessary] boasting
Has kept one sort of Bill posting
The other-sort-of-bill that shows through when it's [sic: its] wet
Perhaps on[JN] Somewhere like[JN] Portland Bill
Where Bill meets Till
But it wasn't that sort of[JN] Bill that I meant or met.
Its those Bills that so often keep spendthrifts awake
And make cigar-sucking business [sic: buisiness] men quake
And give one's hands that inebriates shake
The cause of the Pauper found dead in a lake
Oh those Bills
Bills that even bowled out Francis Drake,
That make Washington lie, and quite by mistake
His stipend inadequate made[JN]the Vicar turned[JN] Rake
Damn Bills!
From a doctor – one bill
For curing a chill
And a bill from a doctor who failed
A bill to Lafrass – for tickets to Paris:
I would it had never been mailed.

The third 'please-pay' request
From the bloke who dressed
My Scapparilli1-dream of a figure
And now let's [sic: lets] face – this bill for a case
And for photograpes2 two – ×××× [indecipherable] tell me, could they be bigger?
Dozens and dozens of them
Every day
So many bits of paper
I must pay.
That I should have so many
Is quite crazy
The hard fact is that I am[JN] of course[JN]
Obviously[JN] That I am[JN] – lazy.
Too lazy at 23 past three
To rush to the bank
So unable to pay cash
I've myself to thank
Much too [sic: to] lazy to pull my socks up
And earn dough
So lazy that I look at Bills
And just – owe.
And Ronuk-mannered3 salesman
Nothing loth
Sends me this neat epitome
Of sloth.

Editorial Notes

1i.e. Elsa Schiaparelli, Italian fashion designer? eds.
2photographs? eds
3polished eds.

Hands Referenced

    • Annotation: ink correction of letter enclosure
    • Character: regular
    • Ink: black

People Mentioned

  • Robert

    Graves, Robert
    [1st person]. (1895-1985). Poet, novelist, essayist, critic, and author of his diary. eds.
  • Jenny

    Nicholson, Jenny
    Jenny Nicholson: oldest daughter of Robert by Nancy Nicholson.

Organizations Mentioned

  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.