Champing The Grasses

This morning I stopped alongside a fence and listened to a horse grazing in the field. It was a beautiful sound, breathy and hollow with an echoing kind of chomp, punctuated now and then by the slight sound of the grinding of teeth. It was a lovely moment and I was transported back to some of the words of a favourite poem of mine, “The Listeners” by Walter de La Mare:

Is there anybody there? said the Traveller,   
   Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses   
   Of the forest’s ferny floor:
I loved, and still love, the phrase – “The forest’s ferny floor” I can go on saying it forever – “The forest’s ferny floor” – and I can hear his horse in the silence champing away at the grasses.