Victoria Sackville-West

(1892 - 1962 / England)

Leopards at Knole


Leopards on the gable-ends,
Leopards on the painted stair,
Stiff the blazoned shield they bear,
Or and gules, a bend of vair,
Leopards on the gable-ends,
Leopards everywhere.

Guard and vigil in the night
While the ancient house is sleeping
They three hundred years are keeping,
Nightly from their stations leaping,
Shadows black in moonlight bright,
Roof to gable creeping.

Rigid when the day returns,
Up aloft in sun or rain
Leopards at their posts again
Watch the shifting pageant's train;
And their jewelled colour burns
In the window-pane.

Often on the painted stair,
As I passed abstractedly,
Velvet footsteps, two and three,
Padded gravely after me.
- There was nothing, nothing there,
Nothing there to see.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Brian Jani (7/13/2014 11:52:00 AM)

    i am impressed by your elasticity when it comes to word use.this is q nice poem. (Report) Reply

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