Walter de la Mare

The Song of Shadows

Sweep thy faint Strings, Musician,

With thy long lean hand;

Downward the starry tapers burn,

Sinks soft the waning sand;

The old hound whimpers couched in sleep,

The embers smoulder low;

Across the walls the shadows

Come, and go.

Sweep softly thy strings, Musician,

The minutes mount to hours;

Frost on the windless casement weaves

A labyrinth of flowers;

Ghosts linger in the darkening air,

Hearken at the open door;

Music hath called them, dreaming,

Home once more.