The cactus leans a little like
A prickly Tower of Pisa;
On either side two figures walk,
The giants of the story.
With yellow hat and scarlet coat,
Black tights and ivory leggings,
A servant bears the balanced weight
Of empty silver buckets.
Somewhat apart, a crimson lord
With green and gold apparels,
Holds like a crimson calling-card
A lightless paper-lantern.
They do not speak; they do not meet;
The cactus comes between them:
They have bright sketched-in faces, yet
Each face is not the other’s.
The only thing they seem to share,
Except their startling colour,
Is that, should a breeze occur,
Their burdens jointly waver.
And this is all: there is no plot
To bring them both together.
The pigmy giants are simply that
Beside the leaning cactus.