European life. Ethically, these fertile healthy hills were，
My room is tranquil and friendly. Out of the window I can see the distant city, a band of twinkling gems, little flower-heads with no stems. I cannot see the beer-glass, nor the letters of the restaurants and shops I passed, now the signs blur and all together make the city, glowing on a night of fine weather, like a garden stirring and blowing for the Spring.
The night is fresh-washed and fair and there is a whiff of flowers in the air.
Wrap me close, sheets of lavender. Pour your blue and purple dreams into my ears. The breeze whispers at the shutters and mutters queer tales of old days, and cobbled streets, and youths leaping their horses down marble stairways. Pale blue lavender, you are the colour of the sky when it is fresh-washed and fair . . . I smell the stars . . . they are like tulips and narcissus . . . I smell them in the air.
"So . . ." they said, With their wine-glasses delicately poised, Mocking at the thing they cannot understand. "So . . ." they said again, Amused and insolent. The silver on the table glittered, And the red wine in the glasses Seemed the blood I had wasted In a foolish cause.
The gentleman with the grey-and-black whiskers Sneered languidly over his quail. Then my heart flew up and laboured, And I burst from my own holding And hurled myself forward. With straight blows I beat upon him, Furiously, with red-hot anger, I thrust against him. But my weapon slithered over his polished surface, And I recoiled upon myself, Panting.
In a dress all softness and half-tones, Indolent and half-reclined, She lay upon a couch, With the firelight reflected in her jewels. But her eyes had no reflection, They swam in a grey smoke, The smoke of smouldering ashes, The smoke of her cindered heart.
They sat in a circle with their coffee-cups. One dropped in a lump of sugar, One stirred with a spoon. I saw them as a circle of ghosts Sipping blackness out of beautiful china, And mildly protesting against my coarseness In being alive.
They took dead men's souls And pinned them on their breasts for ornament; Their cuff-links and tiaras Were gems dug from a grave; They were ghouls battening on exhumed thoughts; And I took a green liqueur from a servant So that he might come near me And give me the comfort of a living thing.
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