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.