Eventail

Lovely Semiramis
Closes her slanting eyes:
Dead is she long ago,
From her fan sliding slow
Parrot-bright fire's feathers
Gilded as June weathers,
Plumes like the greenest grass
Twinkle down; as they pass
Through the green glooms in Hell,
Fruits with a tuneful smell--
Grapes like an emerald rain
Where the full moon has lain,
Greengages bright as grass,
Melons as cold as glass
Piled on each gilded booth
Feel their cheeks growing smooth;
Apes in plumed head-dresses
Whence the bright heat hisses,
Nubian faces sly,
Pursing mouth, slanting eye,
Feel the Arabian
Winds floating from that fan:
See how each gilded face
Paler grows, nods apace:
'Oh, the fan's blowing
Cold winds.... It is snowing!'

by Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell

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