The poem below is by Walter De la Mare. It is a work of unparalleled accomplishment. The imagery he creates in an almost song-like stream of verse gives the reader a sense of a world of dark shadows, set somewhere in a deep land to be explored....--Ken Wais

My voice recording of the poem. I change the verses slightly as the cadence is very hard to achieve.

Walter De La Mare: The Listeners

"Is anybody there?" said the Traveler,

Knocking on the moonlit door;

And his horse in the silence chomped the grasses Of the forest's ferny floor.

And a bird flew up out of the turret, Above the traveler's head:

And he smote upon the door a second time; "Is there anybody there?" he said.

But no one descended to the Traveler;

No head from the leaf-fringed sill Leaned over and looked into his gray eyes,

Where he stood perplexed and still. But only a host of phantom listeners

That dwelt in the lone house then Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight

To that voice from the world of men: Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair

That goes down to the empty hall, Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken

By the lonely Traveler's call. And he felt in his heart their strangeness,

Their stillness answering his cry, While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,

'Neath the starred and leafy sky; For he suddenly smote the door, even

Louder, and lifted his head:-- "Tell them I came, and no one answered,

That I kept my word," he said. Never the least stir made the listeners,

Though every word he spake Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house

From the one man left awake: Aye, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,

And the sound of iron on stone, And how the silence surged softly backward,

When the plunging hoofs were gone.

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