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.