Read by Maurice Riordan
Walter de la Mare's lyric sensibility combines with his skill as a metrist in this poem. His sense of the beauty of the world and the longer expansive lines is reined in by the shorter ones.
When I lie where shades of darkness
Shall no more assail mine eyes,
Nor the rain make lamentation
When the wind sighs;
How will fare the world whose wonder
Was the very proof of me?
Memory fades, must the remembered
Oh, when this my dust surrenders
Hand, foot, lip, to dust again,
May these loved and loving faces
Please other men!
May the rusting harvest hedgerow
Still the Traveller's Joy entwine,
And as happy children gather
Posies once mine.
Look thy last on all things lovely,
Every hour. Let no night
Seal thy sense in deathly slumber
Till to delight
Thou have paid thy utmost blessing;
Since that all things thou wouldst praise
Beauty took from those who loved them
In other days.
from Collected Poems (Faber, 1979), by permission of The Literary Trustees of Walter de la Mare and The Society of Authors as their representative.