Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ruined Illium, Again

PAST ruin’d Ilion Helen lives,
  Alcestis rises from the shades;
Verse calls them forth; ’tis verse that gives
  Immortal youth to mortal maids.
Soon shall Oblivion’s deepening veil        5
  Hide all the peopled hills you see,
The gay, the proud, while lovers hail
  These many summers you and me.

Walter Savage Landor


to my sister in memory of all the wished for playhouses-

we came to the towers after long rains;
well, we imagined it that way
when the ground was spongy

and dotted with violets
and the wind so green
it took all Time away;

and there we saw the sunsets
through the ruins, their strange embroidery
and wanted to play this was our house

where castles once stood
and now, only broken porticos.
still we may visit in dreams

on days when the mist lies thick
upon old windowpanes
and find once more the moonglow

in the sunned on stones 
and wonder wonder do you suppose
when the honeysuckle climbs past

the frail rose window, does the princess know
if living anywhere else than this
could be the same?

and the rains swept in with their refrain,
from violet shadows summoned
to murmur, no, oh no...

mary angela douglas 10 july 2016