Miss Loo (1912)

Walter de la Mare

When thin-strewn memory I look through,
I see most clearly poor Miss Loo,
Her tabby cat, her cage of birds,
Her nose, her hair, her muffled words,
And how she’d open her green eyes,
As if in some immense surprise,
Whenever as we sat at tea,
She made some small remark to me.

It’s always drowsy summer when
From out the past she comes again;
The westering sunshine in a pool
Floats in her parlour still and cool;
While the slim bird its lean wires shakes,
As into piercing song it breaks;
Till Peter’s pale-green eyes ajar
Dream, wake; wake, dream, in one brief bar.

And I am sitting , dull and shy,
And she with gaze of vacancy,
And large hands folded on the tray,
Musing the afternoon away;
Her satin bosom heaving slow
With sighs that softly ebb and flow,
And her plain face in such dismay,
It seems unkind to look her way:
Until all cheerful back will come
Her cheerful gleaming spirit home:
And one would think that poor Miss Loo
Asked nothing else, if she had you.

Learn more about the language of this poem in the
Oxford English Dictionary:

westering