Villa d'Este Gardens

‘Of course you saw the Villa d'Este Gardens,’

Writes one of my Italianistic friends.

Of course; of course; I saw them in October,

Spired with pinaceous ornamental gloom

Of that arboreal elegy the cypress.

Those fountains, too, ‘like ghosts of cypresses’;—

(The phrase occurred to me while I was leaning

On an old balustrade; imbibing sunset;

Wrapped in my verse vocation)—how they linked me

With Byron, Landor, Liszt, and Robert Browning!

A Liebestraum of Liszt cajoled my senses.

My language favoured Landor, chaste and formal.

My intellect (though slightly in abeyance)

Functioned against a Byronistic background.

Then Browning jogged my elbow; bade me hob-nob

With some forgotten painter of dim frescoes

That haunt the Villa's intramural twilight.

While roaming in the Villa d'Este Gardens

I felt like that . . . and fumbled for my note-book.

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