di Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)

Sailors come
To the drum
Out of Babylon;
Foam, the dumb
Sky rhinoceros-glum
Watched the courses of the
breakers' rocking-horses and with
Lady Venus on the settee of the
horsehair sea!
Where Lord Tennyson in laurels
wrote a gloria free,
In a borealic iceberg came Victoria; she
Knew Prince Albert's tall memorial
took the colours of the floreal
And the borealic iceberg; floating
on they see
New-arisen Madam Venus for
whose sake from far
Came the fat zebra'd emperor
from Zanzibar
Where like golden bouquets lay far
Asia, Africa, Cathay,
All laid before that shady lady by
the fibroid Shah.
Captain Fracasse stout as any water -
butt came, stood
With Sir Bacchus both a-drinking
the black tarr'd grapes' blood
Plucked among the tartan leafage
By the furry wind whose grief age
Could not wither -
like a squirrel with a gold star-nut.
Queen Victoria sitting shocked
upon a rocking horse
Of a wave said to the Laureate,
"This minx of course
Is as sharp as a lynx and blacker -
deeper than the drinks and
quite as
Hot as any Hottentot, without
For the minx,"
Said she,
"And the drinks,
You can see
Are hot as any hottentot and not
the goods for me!"