Sir Walter de la Mare

Melmillo

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Three and thirty birds there stood
In an elder in a wood;
Called Melmillo -- flew off three,
Leaving thirty in the tree;
Called Melmillo -- nine now gone,
And the boughs held twenty-one;
Called Melmillo -- and eighteen
Left but three to nod and preen;
Called Melmillo -- three--two--one--
Now of birds were feathers none.

Then stole slim Me.millo in
To that wood all dusk and green,
And with lean long palms outspread
Softly a strange dance did tread;
Not a note of music she
Had for echoing company;
All the birds were flown to rest
In the hollow of her breast;
In the wood -- thorn, elder willow --
Danced alone -- lone danced Melmillo.

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Sir Walter de la Mare