But stay, here come the gardeners.
Let's step into the shadow of these trees.

I remember my brave setting-out. How suddenly
the heart lifts, when some El Dorado comes in view!
A martial exercise. Across a jangled spur
we rode - the wilderness (green, bushy

perturbation) down below. To the right,
a short-cut - limpid grottos, toxic, sheltered
(globule mimic of the Golden Shore).
To the left, a rabid knothole (termite-

ridden, caterpillar-swamped) : ur-forest,
eaten by the trees. And yet a third path
for the indisposed - a trail boreal, wreathed
with arctic poppy (sweetest this was, shortest).

We hesitated, at that triple fork.
Abysmal memory of past mis-steps
led to a halt there (under pensive lamps
of Solomon's-seal : overhung, green, dark).

Rondon dismounted, crowned his head with grass.
What is it, friend? I asked (disordered springs
unwound so many -) : "only the King's
old handkerchief," he laughed. "For Lazarus,

or Nebuchadnezzar, lunch." You would have wept,
Edith, plaited your brow with rue, to hear
this rude marvel of a gardener, this leveler,
pruning the precious commonwealth he kept!

With giant arm, he raised a shining scythe
(his iron divining rod, ruled with a rare
dolphin-device) - and with a single shear
unveiled a river (stately, steady) underneath.

No comments: