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The Widow

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



Grief hath pacified her face;
Even hope might share so still a place;
Yet, on the silence of her heart,
Haply, if a strange footfall start,
Or a chance word of ecstasy
Cry through dim cloistered memory,
Into her eyes her soul will steal
To gaze into the irrevocable --
As if death had not power to keep
One who has loved her long asleep.

Now all things lovely she looks on
Seem lovely in oblivion;
And all things mute what shall not be
Richer than any melody.
Her narrow hands, like birds that make
A nest for some old instinct's sake,
Have hollowed a refuge for her face --
A narrow and a quiet place --
Where, far from the world's light, she may
See clearer what is passed away.

And only little children know
Through what dark gates her smile may go.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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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