Suspect those bright mornings …

So if you prosper, suspect those bright
Mornings when you whistle with a light
Heart. You are loved; you have never seen
The harbour so still, the park so green,
So many well-fed pigeons upon
Cupolas and triumphal arches,
So many stags and slender ladies
Beside the canals. Remember when
Your climate seems a permanent home
For marvelous creatures and great men,
What griefs and convulsions startled Rome,
Ecbatana, Babylon.

— from W.H. Auden’s “Alonso to Ferdinand,” in “The Sea and the Mirror”


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