Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HOLIDAY AT HAMPTON COURT, by JOHN DAVIDSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

HOLIDAY AT HAMPTON COURT, by             Poem Explanation     Poet's Biography
First Line: Scales of pearly cloud inlay
Last Line: Near the zenith gleams the moon.
Subject(s): Hampton Court Palace, England

Scales of pearly cloud inlay
North and south the turquoise sky.
While the diamond lamp of day
Quenchless burns, and time on high
A moment halts upon his way
Bidding noon again good-bye.

Gaffers, gammers, huzzies, louts,
Couples, gangs, and families
Sprawling, shake, with Babel-shouts
Bluff King Hal's funereal trees:
And eddying groups of stare-abouts
Quiz the sandstone Hercules.

When their tongues and tempers tire,
Harry and his little lot
Condescendingly admire
Lozenge-bed and crescent-plot,
Aglow with links of azure fire,
Pansy and forget-me-not.

Where the emerald shadows rest
In the lofty woodland aisle,
Chaffing lovers quaintly dressed
Chase and double many a mile,
Indifferent exiles in the west
Making love in cockney style.

Now the echoing palace fills;
Men and women, girls and boys
Trample past the swords and frills,
Kings and Queens and trulls and toys;
Or listening loll on window-sills,
Happy amateurs of noise!

That for pictured rooms of state!
Out they hurry, wench and knave,
Where beyond the palace gate
Dusty legions swarm and rave,
With laughter, shriek, inane debate,
Kentish fire and comic stave.

Voices from the river call;
Organs hammer tune on tune;
Larks triumphant over all
Herald twilight coming soon,
For as the sun begins to fall
Near the zenith gleams the moon.

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