Amy Lowell

Behind a Wall

I own a solace shut within my heart, 
 A garden full of many a quaint delight 
 And warm with drowsy, poppied sunshine; bright, 
Flaming with lilies out of whose cups dart 
Shining things 
With powdered wings.

Here terrace sinks to terrace, arbors close 
 The ends of dreaming paths; a wanton wind 
 Jostles the half-ripe pears, and then, unkind, 
Tumbles a-slumber in a pillar rose, 
With content 
Grown indolent.

By night my garden is o'erhung with gems 
 Fixed in an onyx setting. Fireflies 
 Flicker their lanterns in my dazzled eyes. 
In serried rows I guess the straight, stiff stems 
Of hollyhocks 
Against the rocks.

So far and still it is that, listening, 
 I hear the flowers talking in the dawn; 
 And where a sunken basin cuts the lawn, 
Cinctured with iris, pale and glistening, 
The sudden swish 
Of a waking fish.

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