Fall 1956 • Vol. XVIII No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 1956 |

Roman Spring

Out of the depths of Rome, out of the Forum Up to Villa Borghese where Apollo Touches Daphne at just the arboreal moment, You feel in spring the marriage of man and nature. You hear it in song praising the sun's new shining Across the court, after the long rain. You see it in ruins where daisies freshen the columns. O water is one of the gods of Rome, the sun Another. These cause the apple tree to bloom Near the Borghese. The lovers stroll in gardens Where judas, cherry, overhang the tulips Nodding from nurtured beds. You walk the Pincio Down to the Spanish Stairs: The banked azaleas In whites and pinks and reds, a wedding arrangement, Marry the spring with Rome. You see Apollo Pursuing Daphne until she becomes a tree. . . . But that was laurel, baroque. Here the Romans Pause on the steps, smelling the sweet azaleas. They lean toward girls dizzy with spring and love, Daphne and Apollo recede like a dream in air.

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