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THE RED HEART
I  The Plum Tree

James Reaney

 

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Pink and White Hollyhocks


In June and July
Green spires
Spear in my garden
Beneath the windowsills
And along the edges of those fields
Where the farmers shout glee and haw
And in the ditches
Where girls picking strawberries
Say tee and hee.

Within those green towers
Ladies pre-raphaelite
In their intense ascent
Climb slowly to the topmost rooms
With pink lamps and white lanterns.
Never do they pause
For the windows gleam pink and white
From July to September.

When in autumn
The garden is dying,
They enter the highest chamber,
Hung with citherns and lutes,
Lie down with their lover,
Blow out the pink lamps forever.