Denise Levertov

24 October 1923 – 20 December 1997 / Ilford, Essex

Psalm Concerning The Castle

Let me be at the place of the castle.
Let the castle be within me.
Let it rise foursquare from the moat's ring.
Let the moat's waters reflect green plumage of ducks, let
   the shells of swimming turtles break the surface or be
   seen through the rippling depths.
Let horsemen be stationed at the rim of it, and a dog,
   always alert on the brink of sleep.
Let the space under the first storey be dark, let the water
   lap the stone posts, and vivid green slime glimmer upon
   them; let a boat be kept there.
Let the caryatids of the second storey be bears upheld on
   beams that are dragons.
On the parapet of the central room, let there be four
   archers, looking off to the four horizons. Within, let
   the prince be at home, let him sit in deep thought, at
   peace, all the windows open to the loggias.
Let the young queen sit above, in the cool air, her child in
   her arms; let her look with joy at the great circle, the
   pilgrim shadows, the work of the sun and the play of
   the wind. Let her walk to and fro. Let the columns uphold
   the roof, let the storeys uphold the columns, let there
   be dark space below the lowest floor, let the castle rise
   foursquare out of the moat, let the moat be a ring and
   the water deep, let the guardians guard it, let there be
   wide lands around it, let that country where it stands be
   within me, let me be where it is.
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