Lawrence Durrell

River the Roman legionary noosed:
Seven piers whose sharpened fangs
Slide from stone gums to soothe and comb
Where the lustrous nervous water hangs.
A stagnant town: a someone's home-from-home.
If the bored consular ghost should reappear
He would re-pose the question with a sigh,
Find it unanswered still: "What under heaven
Could a Roman find to amuse him here?"
It won't: he's gone on furlough unregretted,
Now powdered with drowsy lilies, hobbled,
Dusted by old Orion the glib waterfloor
A planet-cobbled darkness re-inters
The history the consul found a bore.

Pour sky in water, softly mix and wait,
While birds whistle and sprain and curve...
They must have faltered here at the very gate
Of Gaul, seduced by such provender, such rich turf
Bewitched, and made their sense of duty swerve.
No less now under awnings half asleep
Pale functionaries of a similar sort of creed
All afternoon a river-watching keep,
Two civil servants loitering over aniseed.

@темы: english-british, durrell, lawrence, d, 20