By Walter de la Mare
‘Who knocks? ‘ ‘I, who was beautiful
Beyond all dreams to restore,
I from the roots of the dark thorn am hither,
And knock on the door.’
‘Who speaks? ‘ ‘I — once was my speech
Sweet as the bird’s on the air,
When echo lurks by the waters to heed;
‘Tis I speak thee fair.’
‘Dark is the hour!’ ‘Aye, and cold.’
‘Lone is my house.’ ‘Ah, but mine? ‘
‘Sight, touch, lips, eyes gleamed in vain.’
‘Long dead these to thine.’
Silence. Still faint on the porch
Brake the flames of the stars.
In gloom groped a hope-wearied hand
Over keys, bolts, and bars.
A face peered. All the grey night
In chaos of vacancy shone;
Nought but vast sorrow was there —
The sweet cheat gone.