"Popular Song"
di Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)

Lily O'Grady,
Silly and shady,
Longing to be
A lazy lady,
Walked by the cupolas gables in the
Lake's Georgian stables,
In a fairy tale like the heat intense,
And the mist in the woods when
across the fence
The children gathering strawberries
Are changed by the heat into
Though their fair hair
Shines there
Like gold-haired planets, Calliope, Io,
Pomona, Antiope, Echo and Clio.
Then Lily O'Grady,
Silly and shady,
Sauntered along like a
Lazy Lady;
Beside the waves' haycocks her
gown with tucks
as of satin the colour of shining
green ducks,
And her fol-de-rol
Was a great gold sun o'er the
haycocks shining,
But she was a negress black as the shade
That time on the brightest lady laid.
Then a satyr, dog-haired as
trunks of trees,
Began to flatter, began to tease
And she ran like the nymphs with
golden foot
That trampled the strawberry,
buttercup root,
In the thick cold dew as bright as
the mesh
Of dead Panope's golden flesh,
Made from the music whence were born
Memphis and Thebes in the first
hot morn,
- And ran, to wake
In the lake,
Where the water-ripples seem hay to rake.
And Charlotine,
Round rose-bubbling Victorine,
And the other fish
Express a wish
For mastic mantles and gowns with
a swish;
And bright and slight as the posies
Of buttercups and of roses,
And buds of the wild wood-lilies
They chase her, as frisky as fillies.
The red retriever-haired satyr
Can whine and tease her and flatter
But Lily O'Grady,
Silly and shady,
In the deep shade is a lazy lady;
Now Pompey's dead, Homer's read,
Heliogabalus lost his head,
And shade is on the brightest wing,
And dust forbids the bird to sing.