Monday, March 31, 2014


Late; the candles are burning down
He is writing to Stella. He knows we’re there.
Posterity always looks over his shoulder
Noting he had dinner with Patty Rolt
And will have a plum-cake for breakfast
(A gift it was, from Stella’s mother).
Meniere’s bells are always ringing in his ears;
There are always ghosts from the future.
He imagines we are there for his wit
Or to better know Harley and Bolingbroke.
“P a a a s t twelve o’clock!” The passing watchman,
Dead three hundred years, is calling still.
It is to hear that call and, perhaps,
For the plum-cakes that I have come.


Thistlewood was hanged
On a day filled with music;
Masked chimney sweeps
Danced at every corner.
The Princess Lieven
(Who, in her sleep
Composed good poetry)
Wrote to Metternich
That she was sad.

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