The Garden of the Great Khan
Every tree of the forest is found here,
and a bower for every bright bird,
and the flowers that leap up at the world's end
are faded by these beyond words.
When the sun in its shining blooms fire,
the lilies all bloom in return
with a whiteness, a gold, and a redness
beyond what the hearthfire can burn.
The scent of their petals is precious;
it floats around dancers like dreams,
and the dancers that dance to the birdsong
float like the boats in the stream
on a music that Muses must envy
when the horse-spring has flowed from its fount
to inspire the poets and prophets
who camp beneath Parnassus-mount.
Light that leaps down from the angels
is reflected here in the small ponds
that give way in rippling reverence
to the softness of sorrowful swans;
and the sweetness of light in that music,
the sweetness it sends to my tongue,
is a taste beyond all of the honey
of which all the poets have sung,
and its nectar, distilled into power,
is found in the peach on the tree
more fair than the fruits called Undying
in the islands beyond the wide sea.