Thursday, June 12, 2014


Ornamental Waters

A ride ran down to the Ornamental Waters
Where islands were planted and here was a heronry
And there was a shoulder-of-mutton-shaped lake.

What was it drew her, wandering in Wansted,
Taking the mist where the Tudor and Palladian
Mansions had once ruled geometric gardens

And yelling boarhounds were gored in the brake?

Maybe a mirror for her loss and bewilderment,
Maybe an echo of her own estrangement,
Lakeland and woodland made in her heart:

Where the queen's favourites lay with their favourites,
Dragon-mouthed grottoes were ports for the marsh birds,
Leaves were of perilous, brittle weaving

And the boar in the thicket was dragged apart.

 Kit Wright, in the TLS