John Mouldy

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John Mouldy
written by Walter de la Mare
Songs of Childhood (1902)




    I spied John Mouldy in his cellar,
    Deep down twenty steps of stone;
    In the dusk he sat a-smiling,
        Smiling there alone.

    He read no book, he snuffed no candle;
    The rats ran in, the rats ran out;
    And far and near, the drip of water
        Went whisp'ring about.

    The dusk was still, with dew a-falling,
    I saw the Dog-star bleak and grim,
    I saw a slim brown rat of Norway
        Creep over him.

    I spied John Mouldy in his cellar,
    Deep down twenty steps of stone;
    In the dusk he sat a-smiling,
        Smiling there alone.

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