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The Scarecrow
Walter de la Mare


All winter through I bow my head
    Beneath the driving rain;
The North wind powders me with snow
    And blows me black again;
At midnight 'neath a maze of stars
    I flame with glittering rime,
And stand, above the stubble, stiff
    As mail at morning-prime.
But when that child, called Spring, and all
    His host of children, come,
Scattering their buds and dew upon
    Those acres of my home,
Some rapture in my rags awakes;
    I lift void eyes and scan
The skies for crows, those ravening foes,
    Of my strange master, Man.
I watch him striding lank behind
    His clashing team, and know
Soon will the wheat swish body high
    Where once lay sterile snow;
Soon shall I gaze across a sea
    Of sun-begotten grain,
Which my unflinching watch hath sealed
    For harvest once again.

This poem is in the public domain.



Walter de la Mare (1873 - 1956) was a British author of diverse talent who wrote everything from horror stories to children's books. Known to family and friends as "Jack," his work tended to focus around the themes of childhood, imagination, and the supernatural. Happily married to a woman ten years his senior, with whom he had four children, Walter spent nearly twenty years working as a bookkeeper before a government pension finally allowed him to fully devote his time to writing. For more information, visit The Walter de la Mare Society website.



Post New Comment:
The life of a scarecrow is not easy!
Posted 03/17/2024 11:40 AM
Gilbert Allen:
I enjoyed the combination of the mundane and the mysterious in this poem.
Posted 03/17/2024 09:32 AM
Darrell Arnold:
I enjoy trying to decipher what he has written, here. There is a lot of observation about the tough environment of a farm, through winter rain and snow and frost, and then the scarecrow doing his part to help the farmer struggling behind his plow by keep the "ravening" crows away and giving the wheat a chance to grow and thrive till harvest time. Spring is acknowledged, not in a joyful way, but matter-of-factly, and the sun only briefly mentioned. The entire poem is rather bleak, especially compared to my own enthusiasm about new life bursting forth and happy a blooming, thriving summer full of nature's wonders.
Posted 03/17/2024 09:05 AM

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