poet Walter de la Mare

Walter de la Mare

#103 on top 500 poets

The Listeners

"Is there anybody there?" said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grass
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.

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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The Listeners # 86 poem on top 500 Poems
3,7 out of 5
191 total ratings
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Comments about The Listeners by Walter de la Mare

  • clara (11/25/2020 1:33:00 AM)

    Mention the literary device used by the poet in the line: ‘Neath the starred and leafy sky;

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  • Perkin.Estelle (2/13/2020 11:05:00 AM)

    3693 N Clay Way

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  • Yodelee (2/8/2020 5:34:00 AM)

    That's so not a fan since I got to see the new version is better to be the first half of the day before I get a follow back please.

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  • Spock The VeganSpock The Vegan (7/31/2019 10:46:00 PM)

    It leaves you wondering. That has appeal.

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  • Mollie (7/28/2019 4:57:00 AM)

    I like this poem because I learned about it when I was in year 5 but now I'm going up a stage to year 6 so hopefully I learn more about it i really like the suspense it builds up in the poem and I want to hear a person reading it and not a robot reading it

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  • Yogesh (7/10/2019 6:25:00 AM)

    It was very nice

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  • Talia (6/10/2019 7:10:00 PM)

    Thanks
    This was very helpful

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  • Brent (5/25/2019 9:38:00 PM)

    This was my favorite poem as a kid in elementary school. It spoke to me about character and personal integrity.

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  • Hayley (3/1/2019 12:01:00 PM)

    Lovely

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  • Scarlet (2/15/2019 4:01:00 PM)

    This has such a deep meaning that you can relate to mysteries of life.Supernatural and mysterious

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  • sd surajit das (10/28/2018 8:46:00 PM)

    Add a comment.good

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  • E. Lillie (10/18/2018 2:44:00 PM)

    I like this poem because I feel it gives a great and vivid description of the scenery, but still leaves you questioning

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  • Mr Mysterious (10/12/2018 7:29:00 AM)

    My great great great parent wrote this poem! !

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  • Jacqui nicol (7/29/2018 10:35:00 AM)

    Wonderful atmospheric poem. You can just imagine the scene. Do we really know if anyone WAS listening? The imagination goes wild. And who had he promised? Will it always be a mystery? It raises so many questions. The best thing is just to enjoy.

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  • Robert Murray SmithRobert Murray Smith (7/9/2018 6:49:00 AM)

    A classic write that we can all learn from.

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  • megis (6/13/2018 6:29:00 AM)

    tell them I came and no one answered. That I kept my word he said.
    What does this mean please?

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  • kathy (4/27/2018 7:43:00 PM)

    One of my favorites. When I was going through a really bad time I used to read this aloud at night all alone. It gave me power

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    Barbara(6/4/2018 5:28:00 PM)

    My favourite poem. So mysterious but lovely

    4 person liked.
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  • Pavithra (4/6/2018 3:43:00 AM)

    I got a work to offer any poem of Walter de la mare in the assembly and this was the best

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  • Rhiannon (3/18/2018 1:54:00 PM)

    I would prefer to hear it read by a person than a robot.

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    4 person liked.
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  • Rishit Shah (2/14/2018 4:20:00 AM)

    It was my 10 marks assignment for the school . But this site made my 10 marks easy

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Read poems about / on: horse, silence, house, dark, lonely, sky, world, star