Stourhead regained

Tell me pretty Apollo, most beloved in your temple
What do you see as the sun casts its shadows over the garden wall?
Tell me in your terrible beauty as you look across the landscape
What do you think as the leaves begin to fall?
Tell me golden boy what delights you in the estate?
Do you walk with brave Aeneas and hear Aphrodite call?

Under Palladian facades do you meet with bold Herakles
And Ceres, as she tends the garden to make it bloom and grow?
I’m looking through the cascade of autumn leaves as they
Frame the lake and in the distance blurred, Ceres starts to sow
Acers, tulip trees. Snowdrops are planted, pelargonium and limes.
Beeches and the broad leaves, glowing rhododendrons to make a show.

Through the waterfall of autumn colours, fading as they crumple
My focus is crisp and clear. Beyond the lake is calling vague in shape
And form. Beyond is indistinct, grainy and diffused.
What lies there divine kouros, in the uncertain harvest landscape
As plants wither, growing indolent and idle, hiding in warm soil?
Out of focus, out of reach, gods peer through the leaves that drape.

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