Walter de la Mare was born
in 1873 and is well known for Memoirs of a Midget, which details the often
bizarre experiences of Fanny Bowater. His supernatural collections include,
among others, The Connoiseur and Other Stories, On the Edge, The Riddle
and Other Tales, and the novel The Return. He was also well known for
his vivid poetry.
by Walter de la Mare
The Fairies Dancing
I heard along the early hills,
Ere yet the lark was risen up,
Ere yet the dawn with firelight fills
The night-dew of the bramble-cup,--
I heard the fairies in a ring
Sing as they tripped a lilting round
Soft as the moon on wavering wing.
The startlight shook as if with sound,
As if with echoing, and the stars
Pranked their bright eyes with trembling gleams;
While red with war the gusty Mars
Rained upon earth his ruddy beams.
He shone alone, low down the West,
While I, behind a hawthorn-bush,
Watched on the fairies flaxen-tressed
The fires of the morning flush.
Till, as a mist, their beauty died,
Their singing shrill and fainter grew;
And daylight tremulous and wide
Flooded the moorland through and through;
Till Urdon's copper weathercock
Was reared in golden flame afar,
And dim from moonlit dreams awoke
The towers and groves or Arroar.
Hi! handsome hunting man,
Fire your little gun.
Bang! Now the animal
Is dead and dumb and done.
Never to peep again, creep again, leap again,
Eat or sleep or drink again. Oh, what fun!
The Honey Robbers
There were two Fairies, Gimmul and Mel,
Loved Earth Man's honey passing well;
Oft at the hives of his tame bees
They would their sugary thirst appease.
When even began to darken to night,
They would hie along in the fading light.
With elf-locked hair and scarlet lips,
And small stone knives to slit the skeps,
So softly not a bee inside
Should hear the woven straw divide
And then with sly and greedy thumbs
Would rifle the sweet honeycombs.
And drowsily drone to drone would say,
'A cold, cold wind blows in this way';
And the great Queen would turn her head
From face to face, astonished,
And, though her maids with comb and brush
Would comb and soothe and whisper, 'Hush!'
About the hive would shrilly go
A keening--keening, to and fro;
At which those robbers 'neath the trees
Would taunt and mock the honey-bees,
And through their sticky teeth would buzz
Just as an angry hornet does.
And when this Gimmul and this Mel
Had munched and sucked and swilled their fill,
Or ever Man's first cock should grow
Back to their Faerie Mounds they'd go.
Edging across the twilight air,
Thieves of a guise remotely fair.
to poetry page
Poetry Guide at dowse
Poetry Page, is a dark fantasy author. Visit
Myths & Legends
News & Info
Web Makers Tools
. Your free email