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This poem is taken from PN Review 12, Volume 6 Number 4, March - April 1980.

Four Poems Dick Davis
ON A PAINTING BY GUARDI*

  Slowly the chill lagoon
Returns to flood these noisome ponds;
  Grotesque, dense weeds festoon
The ruined arch with airy fronds

  In whose shade scavengers
-Tenacious as the trailing weeds-
  Time's ghostly avatars,
Indifferent to the grace that feeds

  Their chance cupidity,
Draw strength from glory in decay.
  Great Mutability,
All here declares your mordant sway.

  I gaze, hardly aware
Of this overt, didactic aim:
  Rather the misty air,
...


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