by: Walter de la Mare (b.
POEMS BY WALTER DE LA MARE
- 'S there anybody there?' said the
- Knocking on the moonlit door;
- And his horse in the silence champ'd the grasses
- 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
- Lean'd over and look'd into his grey eyes,
- Where he stood perplex'd and still.
- But only a host of phantom listeners
- That dwelt in the lone house then
- Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
- To that voice from the world of men:
- Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
- That goes down to the empty hall,
- Hearkening in an air stirr'd and shaken
- By the lonely Traveller's call.
- And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
- Their stillness answering his cry,
- While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
- 'Neath the starr'd and leafy sky;
- For he suddenly smote on the door, even
- Louder, and lifted his head:--
- 'Tell them I came, and no one answer'd,
- That I kept my word,' he said.
- Never the least stir made the listeners,
- Though every word he spake
- Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
- From the one man left awake:
- Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
- And the sound of iron on stone,
- And how the silence surged softly backward,
- When the plunging hoofs were gone.