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Walter de la Mare Poems

A collection of select Walter de la Mare famous poems that were written by Walter de la Mare or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by de la Mare, Walter
 A song of Enchantment I sang me there,
In a green-green wood, by waters fair,
Just as the words came up to me
I sang it under the wild wood tree. 

Widdershins turned I, singing it low,
Watching the wild birds come and go;
No cloud in the deep dark blue to be seen
Under the thick-thatched branches green. 

Twilight came: silence came:
The planet of...Read More



by de la Mare, Walter
 Very old are the woods; 
And the buds that break 
Out of the brier's boughs, 
When March winds wake, 
So old with their beauty are-- 
Oh, no man knows 
Through what wild centuries 
Roves back the rose. 
Very old are the brooks; 
And the rills that rise 
Where snow sleeps cold beneath 
The azure skies 
Sing such a history...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 The abode of the nightingale is bare,
Flowered frost congeals in the gelid air,
The fox howls from his frozen lair:
Alas, my loved one is gone,
I am alone:
It is winter.

Once the pink cast a winy smell,
The wild bee hung in the hyacinth bell,
Light in effulgence of beauty fell:
I am alone:
It is winter.

My candle a silent fire doth shed,
Starry Orion hunts o'erhead;
Come...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 Interr'd beneath this marble stone, 
Lie saunt'ring Jack and idle Joan. 
While rolling threescore years and one 
Did round this globe their courses run; 
If human things went ill or well; 
If changing empires rose or fell; 
The morning passed, the evening came, 
And found this couple still the same. 
They walk'd and eat, good folks: what then? 
Why...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 Here lies a most beautiful lady, 
Light of step and heart was she; 
I think she was the most beautiful lady 
That ever was in the West Country. 

But beauty vanishes, beauty passes; 
However rare -- rare it be; 
And when I crumble,who will remember 
This lady of the West Country....Read More



by de la Mare, Walter
 Nay, nay, sweet England, do not grieve! 
Not one of these poor men who died 
But did within his soul believe 
That death for thee was glorified. 

Ever they watched it hovering near 
That mystery 'yond thought to plumb, 
Perchance sometimes in loathèd fear 
They heard cold Danger whisper, Come! -- 

Heard and obeyed. O, if thou weep 
Such...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 'What is the world, O soldiers?
It is I:
I, this incessant snow,
This northern sky;
Soldiers, this solitude
Through which we go
Is I.'...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 Thistle and darnell and dock grew there, 
And a bush, in the corner, of may, 
On the orchard wall I used to sprawl 
In the blazing heat of the day; 

Half asleep and half awake, 
While the birds went twittering by, 
And nobody there my lone to share 
But Nicholas Nye. 

Nicholas Nye was lean and gray, 
Lame of...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 When Susan's work was done, she'd sit 
With one fat guttering candle lit, 
And window opened wide to win 
The sweet night air to enter in; 
There, with a thumb to keep her place 
She'd read, with stern and wrinkled face. 
Her mild eyes gliding very slow 
Across the letters to and fro, 
While wagged the guttering candle flame...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in silver feathered sleep
A harvest mouse goes...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 Three jolly gentlemen, 
In coats of red, 
Rode their horses 
Up to bed. 

Three jolly gentlemen 
Snored till morn, 
Their horses champing 
The golden corn. 

Three jolly gentlemen 
At break of day, 
Came clitter-clatter down the stairs 
And galloped away. 
...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 "Is there anybody there?" said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grass
Of the forest's ferny floor;
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller's head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
"Is there anybody there?" he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 As Ann came in one summer's day, 
She felt that she must creep, 
So silent was the clear cool house, 
It seemed a house of sleep. 
And sure, when she pushed open the door, 
Rapt in the stillness there, 
Her mother sat, with stooping head, 
Asleep upon a chair; 
Fast -- fast asleep; her two hands laid 
Loose-folded on...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 "Sweep thy faint strings, Musician,
With thy long lean hand;
Downward the starry tapers burn,
Sinks soft the waning sand;
The old hound whimpers couched in sleep,
The embers smoulder low;
Across the walls the shadows
Come, and go.

Sweep softly thy strings, Musician,
The minutes mount to hours;
Frost on the windless casement weaves
A labyrinth of flowers;
Ghosts linger in the darkening air,
Hearken at the open door;
Music hath called...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 Coral and clear emerald, 
And amber from the sea, 
Lilac-coloured amethyst, 
Chalcedony; 
The lovely Spirit of Air 
Floats on a cloud and doth ride, 
Clad in the beauties of earth 
Like a bride.

So doth she haunt me; and words 
Tell but a tithe of the tale. 
Sings all the sweetness of Spring 
Even in the nightengale? 
Nay, but with...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 Wide are the meadows of night, 
And daisies are shinng there, 
Tossing their lovely dews, 
Lustrous and fair; 

And through these sweet fields go, 
Wanderers amid the stars -- 
Venus, Mercury, Uranus, Neptune, 
Saturn, Jupiter, Mars. 

'Tired in their silver, they move, 
And circling, whisper and say, 
Fair are the blossoming meads of delight 
Through which we stray....Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 When the rose is faded, 
Memory may still dwell on 
Her beauty shadowed, 
And the sweet smell gone. 

That vanishing loveliness, 
That burdening breath, 
No bond of life hath then, 
Nor grief of death. 

'Tis the immortal thought 
Whose passion still 
Makes the changing 
The unchangeable. 

Oh, thus thy beauty, 
Loveliest on earth to me, 
Dark with no sorrow,...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 Ever, ever
Stir and shiver
The reeds and rushes
By the river:
Ever, ever,
As if in dream,
The lone moon's silver
Sleeks the stream.
What old sorrow,
What lost love,
Moon, reeds, rushes,
Dream you of?...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 A wrinkled crabbed man they picture thee, 
Old Winter, with a rugged beard as grey 
As the long moss upon the apple-tree; 
Blue-lipt, an icedrop at thy sharp blue nose, 
Close muffled up, and on thy dreary way 
Plodding alone through sleet and drifting snows. 
They should have drawn thee by the high-heapt hearth, 
Old Winter! seated in thy...Read More

by de la Mare, Walter
 A DIAMOND glow of winter o’er the world:
Amid the chilly halo nigh the west
Flickers a phantom violet bloom unfurled
 Dim on the twilight’s breast.


Only phantasmal blooms but for an hour,
A transient beauty; then the white stars shine
Chilling the heart: I long for thee to flower,
 O bud of light divine.


But never visible to sense or thought
The flower of Beauty...Read More