di Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)

Where the satyrs are chattering,
nymphs with their flattering
Glimpse of the forest enhance
All the beauty of marrow and
cucumber narrow
And Ceres will join in the dance.
Where the satyrs can flatter
the flat-leaved fruit
And the gherkin green
and the marrow,
Said Queen Venus,
"Silenus, we'll settle between us
The gourd and the cucumber narrow!"
See, like palaces hid in the lake,
they shake -
Those greenhouses shot
by her arrow narrow!
The gardener seizes the pieces, like
Croesus, for gilding the
potting-shed barrow.
There the radish roots,
And the strawberry fruits
Feel the nymphs' high boots
in the glade.
Trampling and sampling mazurkas,
cachucas and turkas,
Cracoviaks hid in the shade.
Where, in the haycocks,
the Country nymphs' gay flocks
Wear gowns that are looped over
bright yellow petticoats,
Gaiters of leather
and pheasants' tail feathers
In straw hats bewildering many
a leathern bat.
There they haymake,
Cowers and whines in showers
The dew in the dogskin bright flowers;
Pumpkin and marrow
And cucumber narrow
Have grown through
the spangled June hours.
Melons as dark as caves have for
their fountain waves
Thickest gold honey.
And wrinkled as dark as Pan,
Or old Silenus, yet youthful as Venus
Are gourds and the wrinkled figs
Whence all the jewels ran.
Said QueenVenus, 'Silenus
We'll settle between us
The nymphs' disobedience, forestall
With my bow and my quiver
Each fresh evil liver:
For I don't understand it at all!'