Where did the summer go? Brassie sighed.
It hath all too short a day, I agreed, quoting the Bard.
There were so many things that I wanted to do.
Oh, going to that exhibition in Salisbury with you. The one
on Rex Whistler that you told me about. It finished in September,
It was superb, I replied. It was infused with The Spirit of The Age.
I was reflecting on it last night and I wrote this, I said, taking out my
tablet and switching it on.
Let’s have a look. Brassie took it from me and put on her varifocals,
which make her look intellectual. I like the title: Eternal Summer.
The beautiful set were to inhabit
that brief period, infused by gold dust.
Army kit meticulously laid out
on campaign tables, set for cold luncheon
with the granddaughter of an Archbishop,
or the daughter of a minor canon.
Soldiers formed friendships founded on sonnets,
while steering Bentleys into village ponds
on their way to reckless weekend parties,
where delicately-featured boys kohled
foppish eyes, which burned behind sequinned masks.
Cool aesthetes sketched Palladian bridges;
skinny-dipped in reedy ancestral ponds-
unlike Narcissus, not self-reflecting:
trompe-l’oeil their portal on Arcadia,
where their wills would be done, as in Heaven.
A youth approaching middle-age gunned down
on his first day of action, is preserved
for eternity in that bright nimbus,
in an urn containing his paintbrushes,
air-brushed in a celestial city,
whose Lord must have project-managed Vanbrugh.
He lounges, leaning on a balustrade,
at ease now, in his personal landscape;
waiting for his own Baroque revival.
Salisbury Museum (painting)