Sir Walter de la Mare

The Three Strangers

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Far are those tranquil hills,
Dyed with fair evening's rose;
On urgent, secret errand bent,
A traveller goes.

Approach him strangers three,
Barefooted, cowled; their eyes
Scan the lone, hastening solitary
With dumb surmise.

One instant in close speech
With them he doth confer:
God-sped, he hasteneth on,
That anxious traveller....

I was that man — in a dream:
And each world's night in vain
I patient wait on sleep to unveil
Those vivid hills again.

Would that they three could know
How yet burns on in me
Love — from one lost in Paradise —
For their grave courtesy.

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Sir Walter de la Mare