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Walter de la Mare

Too late for fruit, too soon for flowers.

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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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All day long the door of the sub-conscious remains just ajar; we slip through to the other side, and return again, as easily and secretly as a cat.

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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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A lost but happy dream may shed its light upon our waking hours, and the whole day may be infected with the gloom of a dreary or sorrowful one; yet of neither may we be able to recover a trace.

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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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