Poetry was in Gravess blood. His father, Irish-born Alfred Perceval Graves (1846–1931) managed to forge a literary career outside that of his role as an educationalist and Inspector of Schools for the Home Office.
He contributed to Punch, the Gentlemans Magazine, and the Spectator, and was author of the song Father OFlynn. He was also one time President of the Irish Literary Society in London, and helped establish the Welsh Folk Song Society.
His successful Songs of Killarney first appeared in 1873; Irish Songs and Ballads followed in 1880. In 1902 Graves was elected a Gorsedd Bard, and in 1912 he was installed as a Welsh bard under the name Canwr Cilarne (singer of Killarney).
On display is a modern reprint of his Songs of Killarney.