Poem introduction

Walter de la Mare's lyric sensibility combines with his skill as a metrist in this poem. His sense of the beauty of the world and the longer expansive lines is reined in by the shorter ones.

Fare Well

When I lie where shades of darkness

Shall no more assail mine eyes,

Nor the rain make lamentation

When the wind sighs;

How will fare the world whose wonder

Was the very proof of me?

Memory fades, must the remembered

Perishing be?

 

Oh, when this my dust surrenders

Hand, foot, lip, to dust again,

May these loved and loving faces

Please other men!

May the rusting harvest hedgerow

Still the Traveller's Joy entwine,

And as happy children gather

Posies once mine.

 

Look thy last on all things lovely,

Every hour. Let no night

Seal thy sense in deathly slumber

Till to delight

Thou have paid thy utmost blessing;

Since that all things thou wouldst praise

Beauty took from those who loved them

In other days.


from Collected Poems (Faber, 1979), by permission of The Literary Trustees of Walter de la Mare and The Society of Authors as their representative.

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