Here you will find the Poem Sotto Voce of poet Walter de la Mare
To Edward Thomas The haze of noon wanned silver-grey, The soundless mansion of the sun; The air made visible in his ray, Like molten glass from furnace run, Quivered o'er heat-baked turf and stone And the flower of the gorse burned on ? Burned softly as gold of a child's fair hair Along each spiky spray, and shed Almond-like incense in the air Whereon our senses fed. At foot ? a few sparse harebells: blue And still as were the friend's dark eyes That dwelt on mine, transfixèd through With sudden ecstatic surmise. 'Hst!' he cried softly, smiling, and lo, Stealing amidst that maze gold-green, I heard a whispering music flow From guileful throat of bird, unseen: ? So delicate, the straining ear Scarce carried its faint syllabling Into a heart caught-up to hear That inmost pondering Of bird-like self with self. We stood, In happy trance-like solitude, Hearkening a lullay grieved and sweet ? As when on isle uncharted beat 'Gainst coral at the palm-tree's root, With brine-clear, snow-white foam afloat, The wailing, not of water or wind ? A husht, far, wild, divine lament, When Prospero his wizardry bent Winged Ariel to bind.... Then silence, and o'er-flooding noon. I raised my head; smiled too. And he ? Moved his great hand, the magic gone ? Gently amused to see My ignorant wonderment. He sighed. 'It was a nightingale,' he said, 'That sotto voce cons the song He'll sing when dark is spread; And Night's vague hours are sweet and long, And we are laid abed.'