The Birthnight

Walter de la Mare

Dearest, it was a night
That in its darkness rocked Orion’s stars;
A sighing wind ran faintly white
Along the willows, and the cedar boughs
Laid their wide hands in stealthy peace across
The starry silence of their antique moss:
No sound save rushing air
Cold, yet all sweet with Spring,
And in thy mother’s arms, couched weeping there,
Thou, lovely thing.

More by Walter de la Mare

Winter

And the robin flew
Into the air, the air,
The white mist through;
And small and rare
The night-frost fell
Into the calm and misty dell.

And the dusk gathered low,
And the silver moon and stars
On the frozen snow
Drew taper bars,
Kindled winking fires
In the hooded briers.

And the sprawling Bear
Growled deep in the sky;
And Orion's hair
Streamed sparkling by:
But the North sighed low,
"Snow, snow, more snow!"

Alas

One moment take thy rest.
Out of mere nought in space
Beauty moved human breast
To tell in this far face
A dream in noonday seen,
Never to fade or pass;
A breath-time’s mute delight;
A joy in flight:
The aught desire doth mean
Sighing, Alas!

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Meeting at Night

The gray sea and the long black land;  
And the yellow half-moon large and low:  
And the startled little waves that leap  
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,  
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i’ the slushy sand.  
  
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;  
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;  
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch  
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, through joys and fears,  
Than the two hearts beating each to each!