Listeners block print
The Listeners

edition of 11, 
black on white,

5x8 matted to 9x12:  $30
framed to 9x12:  $50

               The Listeners

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,  
   Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses  
   Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,  
   Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;  
   ‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;  
   No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,  
   Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners  
   That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight  
   To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,  
   That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken  
   By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,  
   Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,  
   ’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even  
   Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,  
   That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,  
   Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house  
   From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,  
   And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,  
   When the plunging hoofs were gone.
                                           - Walter de la Mare (1912)

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