Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in silver feathered sleep
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.
by Walter de la Mare
We were so lucky as children, not only to be blessed by great teachers in a wonderful junior school (now demolished and the site full of flats and offices) but to be taught some things which have last us all our lives. I say us, because I’m sure I was not unique in remembering things we learned then. In secondary school I also had some extraordinarily good teachers of English, and so built a library of remembered and half-remembered poems which I still treasure.
Walter de la Mare was an oft read poet; he had marvellous, wonderful verses for children, and I’m sure he furnished my imagination with a wealth of images. De la Mare was an English poet who was born in 1873 and died in 1956. When I took this photo the other evening, his poem ‘Silver’ sprang automatically into my mind.