Martha

Walter de la Mare 1873 (Charlton, London) – 1956 (Twickenham)



"Once...Once upon a time..."
Over and over again,
Martha would tell us her stories,
In the hazel glen.

Hers were those clear gray eyes
You watch, and the story seems
Told by their beautifulness
Tranquil as dreams.

She'd sit with her two slim hands
Clasped round her bended knees;
While we on our elbows lolled,
And stared at ease.

Her voice and her narrow chin,
Her grave small lovely head,
Seemed half the meaning
Of the words she said.

"Once...Once upon a time..."
Like a dream you dream in the night,
Fairies and gnomes stole out
In the leaf-green light.

And her beauty far away
Would fade, as her voice ran on,
Till hazel and summer sun
And all were gone:--

All fordone and forgot;
And like clouds in the height of the sky,
Our hearts stood still in the hush
Of an age gone by.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 30, 2023

45 sec read
145

Quick analysis:

Scheme Abcb xdcd xcec xexe Aeee xxxx efxf
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 789
Words 153
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Walter de la Mare

Walter John de la Mare was an English poet short story writer and novelist best remembered for his works for children and The Listeners He was born in Kent and was educated at St Pauls Cathedral School His first book Songs of Childhood was published under the name Walter Ramal His 1921 novel Memoirs of a Midget won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction more…

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