The Moya View

An Old Garden

Water Lilies by Claude Monet

(After Richard Aldington’s Aux Vieux Jardin)

Today I found an unknown garden in the woods.

I do not know who carved this still pool fringed
with reeds amidst a forest browning for winter.
Who decided to protect it from the tearing air,
tended it to suckle water from dark clouds.

All I know, it blooms with great delight, apart
from the diverse dying hues of late summer,
my tears for the sculptor, long since gone,
who cleft it from visions of water lilies.

The only echo of his breath: cracked
rose-white flagstones, pale yellow grass.

Here is the poem that inspired it:

Au Vieux Jardin
I have sat here happy in the gardens,
Watching the still pool and the reeds
And the dark clouds
Which the wind of the upper air
Tore like the green leafy boughs
Of the divers-hued trees of late summer;
But though I greatly delight
In these and the water-lilies,
That which sets me nighest to weeping
Is the rose and white color of the smooth flag-stones,
And the pale yellow grass.





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