The Children Of Stare

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The Children Of Stare
written by Walter de la Mare
Poems (1906)




  Winter is fallen early
  On the house of Stare;
Birds in reverberating flocks
  Haunt its ancestral box;
  Bright are the plenteous berries
  In clusters in the air.

  Still is the fountain’s music,
  The dark pool icy still,
Whereupon a small and sanguine sun
  Floats in a mirror on,
  Into a West of crimson,
  From a South of daffodil.

  ’Tis strange to see young children
  In such a wintry house;
Like rabbits’ on the frozen snow
  Their tell-tale footprints go;
  Their laughter rings like timbrels
  ’Neath evening ominous:

  Their small and heightened faces
  Like wine-red winter buds;
Their frolic bodies gentle as
  Flakes in the air that pass,
  Frail as the twirling petal
  From the briar of the woods.

  Above them silence lours,
  Still as an arctic sea;
Light fails; night falls; the wintry moon
  Glitters; the crocus soon
  Will open grey and distracted
  On earth’s austerity:

  Thick mystery, wild peril,
  Law like an iron rod:—
Yet sport they on in Spring’s attire,
  Each with his tiny fire
  Blown to a core of ardour
  By the awful breath of God.

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