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A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

An Antique

Title:     An Antique
Author: Madison Julius Cawein [More Titles by Cawein]

Mildewed and gray the marble stairs
Rise from their balustraded urns
To where a chiseled satyr glares
From a luxuriant bed of ferns;

A pebbled walk that labyrinths
'Twixt parallels of verdant box
To where, broad-based on grotesque plinths,
'Mid cushions of moss-padded rocks,

Rises a ruined pleasure-house,
Of shattered column, broken dome,
Where, reveling in thick carouse,
The buoyant ivy makes its home.

And here from bank, and there from bed,
Down the mad rillet's jubilant lymph,
The lavish violet's odors shed
In breathings of a fountain nymph.

And where, in lichened hoariness,
The broken marble dial-plate
Basks in the Summer's sultriness,
Rich houri roses palpitate.

Voluptuous, languid with perfumes,
As were the beauties that of old,
In damask satins, jeweled plumes,
With powdered gallants here that strolled.

When slender rapiers, proud with gems,
Sneered at the sun their haughty hues,
And Touchstone wit and apothegms
Laughed down the long, cool avenues.

Two pleated bowers of woodbine pave,
'Neath all their heaviness of musk,
Two fountains of pellucid wave,
With sunlight-tessellated dusk.

Beholding these, I seem to feel
An exodus of earthly sight,
An influx of ecstatic weal
Poured thro' my eyes in jets of light.

And so I see the fountains twain
Of hate and love in Arden there;
The time of regal Charlemagne,
Of Roland and of Oliver.

Rinaldo of Montalban's towers
Sleeps by the spring of hate; above
Bows, spilling all his face with flowers,
Angelica, who quaffed of love.

[The end]
Madison Julius Cawein's poem: Antique