The Ones Who Heard

 'Is there some one up in there?' said the lone Man
 And knocked on the moon-lit door;
 And his horse in the hushed night champed on the grass
 Of the soft green wood land's floor
 And a bird flew up out of the stone roof
 High o'er the lone man's head
 And he smote on the dark door once more with his gloved hand;
 'Is there some one up in there?' he said.
 But no one came down to the lone Man;
 No head from the leaf-fringed sill
 Leaned down and looked straight in his grey eyes,
 Where he stood, his thoughts vexed, still.
 But just a grey host of shades who heard him
 That dwelt in the lone house then
 Stood and harked in the hush of the moon's light
 To that voice from the world of men:
 Stood and thronged the faint moon's beams on the dark stair,
 That goes down, down to that still hall,
 Ears pricked in an air that stirred and shook
 By that one lone man's loud call.
 And he felt in his heart the strange air,
 Their still tongues that called back to his cry
 While his horse moved, and cropped the dark turf,
 'Neath the starred and leaf-roofed sky;
 For he raised a fist and smote the door, a bit
 More loud, and turned up his head:-
 'Tell them I came, and no one met me,
 That I kept my word,' he said.
 Not once the least stir made the ones who heard,
 Though each word that he spake
 Fell and rang through the cool and dark air of the still house
 From the one man left still 'wake:
 Ay, they heard him step back to his steed then
 And the sound of horse shoes on stone,
 And how the hush surged to fill the night
 When the hard-plunged hoofs were gone.

                                -- Walt de la Mare
                                   (done by Kip W.)