Duncan Campbell Scott

In the House of Dreams


The lady Lillian knelt upon the sward,
  Between the arbour and the almond leaves;
  Beyond, the barley gathered into sheaves;
A blade of gladiolus, like a sword,
Flamed fierce against the gold; and down toward
  The limpid west, a pallid poplar wove
  A spell of shadow; through the meadow drove
A deep unbroken brook without a ford.

A fountain flung and poised a golden ball;
  On the soft grass a frosted serpent lay,
With oval spots of opal over all;
  Upon the basinís edge within the spray,
Lulled by some craft of laughter in the fall,
  An ancient crow dreamed hours and hours away.


The lady watched the serpent and the crow
  For days, then came a little naked lad,
  And smote the serpent with a spear he had;
Then stooped and caught the coil, and straining slow,
Took the lithe weight upon his shoulder, so,
  And tugged, but could not move the ponderous thing,
  Then flushing red with rage, his spear did fling,
And cut the gladiolus at one blow.

Then back he swung his flaming weapon high,
  And smote the snake and called a magic name;
Then the whole garden vanished utterly,
  And through a mist the lightning went and came,
And flooded all the caverns of the sky,
  A rosy gulf of unimprisoned flame.

English Poetry - http://www.eng-poetry.ru/english/index.php. E-mail eng-poetry.ru@yandex.ru