by: Walter de la Mare
- ALF-HIDDEN in a graveyard,
- In the blackness of a yew,
- Where never living creature stirs,
- Nor sunbeam pierces through,
- Is a tomb, lichened and crooked--
- Its faded legend gone--
- With but one rain-worn cherub's head
- Of mouldering stone.
- There, when the dusk is falling,
- Silence broods so deep
- It seems that every wind that breathes
- Blows from the fields of sleep.
- Day breaks in heedless beauty,
- Kindling each drop of dew,
- But unforsaking shadow dwells
- Beneath this lonely yew.
- And, all else lost and faded,
- Only this listening head
- Keeps with a strange unanswering smile
- Its secret with the dead.
POEMS BY WALTER DE LA MARE
'The Stranger' is reprinted from
An Anthology of Modern Verse. Ed. A. Methuen. London:
Methuen & Co., 1921.