A Taste of Walter de la Mare:
IN THE LOCAL MUSEUM
They stood - rain pelting at window, shrouded sea -
Tenderly hand in hand, too happy to talk;
And there, its amorous eye intent on me,
Plautus Impennis, the extinct Great Auk.
Blackbird silent in the snow;
Motionless crocus in the mould;
Naked tree; and, cold and low,
Sun's wintry gold...
Lost for the while in their strange beauty - self how far! -
Lulled were my senses into a timeless dream;
As if the inmost secret of what they are
Lay open in what they seem.
I saw bleak Arrogance, with brows of brass,
Clad nape to sole in shimmering foil of lead,
Stark down his nose he stared; a crown of glass
Aping the rainbow, on his tilted head.
His very presence drained the vital air;
He ate erect - stone-cold, self-crucified;
On either side of him an empty chair;
And sawdust trickled from his wounded side.
AND SO TO BED
"Night-night, my Precious!"; "Sweet dreams, Sweet!"
"Heaven bless you, Child!" - the accustomed grown-ups said.
Two eyes gazed mutely back that none could meet,
Then turned to face Night's terrors overhead.
Mr. de la Mare lived on the same street that Tennyson did but at a later date. He also wrote a biography of Lewis Carroll which i'd love to get my hands on. He was noted for his appreciation of child-like minds (why i identify with him, lol) and for his classic horror stories as well. A rare and rarified personality; not many of them left, nowadays...