Olive Custance (Lady Alfred Douglas) (1874-1944)

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Peacocks: A Mood

In gorgeous plumage, azure, gold and green,
They trample the pale flowers, and their shrill cry
Troubles the garden's bright tranquillity!
Proud birds of Beauty, splendid and serene,
Spreading their brilliant fans, screen after screen
Of burnished sapphire, gemmed with mimic suns--
Strange magic eyes that, so the legend runs,
Will bring misfortune to this fair demesne...

And my gay youth, that, vain and debonair,
Sits in the sunshine--tired at last of play
(A child, that finds the morning all too long),
Tempts with its beauty that disastrous day
When in the gathering darkness of despair
Death shall strike dumb the laughing mouth of song.