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By the Lake
By Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)
Across the flat and the pastel snow
Two people go . . . . 'And do you remember
When last we wandered this shore?' . . . 'Ah no!
For it is cold-hearted December.'
'Dead, the leaves that like asses's ears hung on the trees
When last we wandered and squandered joy here;
Now Midas your husband will listen for these
Whispers--these tears for joy's bier.'
And as they walk, they seem tall pagodas;
And all the ropes let down from the cloud
Ring the hard cold bell-buds upon the trees--codas
Of overtones, ecstasies, grown for love's shroud.