A Palace in England


A rose wall, a rose wall, and in between, the pale green grass

Runs round the mottoed sundial like a sea, and runs beyond

The gates of iron, where golden shepherds call, where sad priests pass

Down to the yew walk, and the mourning princess turns, her hound

One pace before, while pikemen flecked with fragment sunlight cross

On themselves, when the death clock in a far tower strikes at one;

And through the trees a new wind races, and the glittering hooves

Crash on the cobbles, and the criss-cross gallant tears at his gloves,

Over the grass, over the grass, and on his knees cries to the Queen:

‘The King’s Grace is dead! We are your servants, all!’

And the light decreases on the crimson wall.


Another summer, and another reign, the rose-rapt grass

Surrounds the ornaments of time, a quick sea gone beyond

The rusted limits to a pastoral world, where young priests pass

Along the high road, and the old jewelled women stroke their hound

Beside the fire, while darkdressed servants, deft with shadows, cross

Candlelights, when the death clock in the same room strikes at one;

And through the trees the farm cortège, and hobbled clumsy hooves

Of horse from the plow, and dust lies on the broken tilting gloves

Over a tomb, over a tomb, and noble names known to a dead queen:

‘In a vault below await their judgement’ - and all

The gold roses burn against the ruined wall.