Versailles                                        

 

The leaves are gold and scarlet, strewing all

The bosquets with a Persian brilliance, while

The fountains rise and fall.

 

The unbelieved-in gods of marble gaze

Along the alleys, where, far off, the ice

Edges old waterways.

 

Bright pebbles, scattered, dot the Hundred Steps

Like frozen foam on decks of arctic ships.

Diamond and sapphire drops.

 

The grottoes glitter with autumnal lights:

The sound of water running slowly weights

The air; and the damp bites.

 

Along the Wing of Princes windows glow

Back at the sun, and, courtier-like, display

Nothing of what they know.

 

The Château at the centre rivals Rome:

Those urns and trophies might bear Caesar’s name:

Pride’s huge and empty home.

 

But all that glory comes to Sunday throngs

Of children by the brazen frog which flings

Water at ancient wrongs.

 

And now the loneliness of twilight leaves

The garden, woods, and palace to the griefs

Of time - and time deceives.