di Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)

When green as a river was the barley,
Green as a river the rye,
I waded deep and began to parley
With a youth whom I heard sigh.
'I seek', said he, 'a lovely lady,
A nymph as bright as a queen,
Like a tree that drips with pearls
Her shady locks of hair were seen;
And all the rivers became her flocks
Though their wool you cannot shear,
Because of the love of her flowing locks,
The kingly sun like a swain came strong,
Unheeding of her scorn,
Wading in deeps where she has lain,
Sleeping upon her riven lawn
And chasing her starry satyr train.
She fled, and changed into a tree,
That lovely fair-haired lady...
And now I seek through
the sere summer
Where no trees are shady!'