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Walter de la Mare

Napoleon

'What is the world, O soldiers?
It is I:
I, this incessant snow,
This northern sky;
Soldiers, this solitude
Through which we go
Is I.'

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Hi!

Hi! Handsome hunting man,
Fire your little gun,
Bang! Now that animal
Is dead and dumb and done.
Never more to peep again, creep again, leap again,
Eat or sleep or drink again, oh, what fun!

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Why?

Ever, ever
Stir and shiver
The reeds and rushes
By the river:
Ever, ever,
As if in dream,
The lone moon's silver
Sleeks the stream.
What old sorrow,
What lost love,
Moon, reeds, rushes,
Dream you of?

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Up and Down

Down the Hill of Ludgate,
Up the Hill of Fleet,
To and fro and East and West
With people flows the street;
Even the King of England
On Temple Bar must beat
For leave to ride to Ludgate
Down the Hill of Fleet.

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All But Blind

All but blind
In his chambered hole,
Gropes for worms
The four-clawed mole.

All but blind
In the burning day,
The barn owl
Blunders on her way.

And blind as are
These three to me,
So blind to someone
I must be.

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I can't abear

I can't abear a butcher,
I can't abide his meat,
The ugliest shop of all is his,
The ugliest in the street;
Bakers' are warm, cobblers' dark
Chemists' burn watery lights;
But oh, the sawdust butchers shop
That ugliest of sights.

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One moment take thy rest

One moment take thy rest.
Out of mere nought in space
Beauty moved human breast
To tell in this far face
A dream in noonday seen.
Never to fade or pass;
A breath-time's mute delight;
A joy in flight:
The aught desire doth mean
Sighing, Alas!

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The Huntsmen

Three jolly gentlemen,
In coats of red,
Rode their horses
Up to bed.

Three jolly gentlemen
Snored till morn,
Their horses champing
The golden corn.

Three jolly gentlemen
At break of day,
Came clitter-clatter down the stairs
And galloped away.

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Moonlight

The far moon maketh lovers wise
In her pale beauty trembling down,
Lending curved cheeks, dark lips, dark eyes,
A strangeness not their own.
And, though they shut their lids to kiss,
In starless darkness peace to win,
Even on that secret world from this
Her twilight enters in.

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An Epitaph

Here lies a most beautiful lady,
Light of step and heart was she;
I think she was the most beautiful lady
That ever was in the West Country.

But beauty vanishes, beauty passes;
However rare -- rare it be;
And when I crumble,who will remember
This lady of the West Country.

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