The Supper

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The Supper
written by Walter de la Mare
Songs of Childhood (1902)

    A wolf he pricks with eyes of fire
    Across the night's o'ercrusted snows,
        Seeking his prey,
        He pads his way
    Where Jane benighted goes,
      Where Jane benighted goes.

    He curdles the bleak air with ire,
    Ruffling his hoary raiment through,
        And lo! he sees
        Beneath the trees
    Where Jane's light footsteps go,
      Where Jane's light footsteps go.

    No hound peals thus in wicked joy,
    He snaps his muzzle in the snows,
        His five-clawed feet
        Do scamper fleet
    Where Jane's bright lanthorn shows,
      Where Jane's bright lanthorn shows.

    Now his greed's green doth gaze unseen
    On a pure face of wilding rose,
        Her amber eyes
        In fear's surprise
    Watch largely as she goes,
      Watch largely as she goes.

    Salt wells his hunger in his jaws,
    His lust it revels to and fro,
        Yet small beneath
        A soft voice saith,
    'Jane shall in safety go,
      Jane shall in safety go.'

    He lurched as if a fiery lash
    Had scourged his hide, and through and through,
        His furious eyes
        O'erscanned the skies,
    But nearer dared not go,
      But nearer dared not go.

    He reared like wild Bucephalus,
    His fangs like spears in him uprose,
        Ev'n to the town
        Jane's flitting gown
    He grins on as she goes,
      He grins on as she goes.

    In fierce lament he howls amain,
    He scampers, marvelling in his throes
        What brought him there
        To sup on air,
    While Jane unharmèd goes,
      While Jane unharmèd goes.

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