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.