anybody there?" said the Traveler,
on the moonlit door;
his horse in the silence chomped the grasses
the forest's ferny floor.
a bird flew up out of the turret,
the traveler's head:
he smote upon the door a second time;
there anybody there?" he said.
no one descended to the Traveler;
head from the leaf-fringed sill
over and looked into his gray eyes,
he stood perplexed and still.
only a host of phantom listeners
dwelt in the lone house then
listening in the quiet of the moonlight
that voice from the world of men:
thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair
goes down to the empty hall,
in an air stirred and shaken
the lonely Traveler's call.
he felt in his heart their strangeness,
stillness answering his cry,
his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
the starred and leafy sky;
he suddenly smote the door, even
and lifted his head:—
them I came, and no one answered,
I kept my word," he said.
the least stir made the listeners,
every word he spake
echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
the one man left awake:
they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
the sound of iron on stone,
how the silence surged softly backward,
the plunging hoofs were gone.
de la Mare