after sir john everett millais' ophelia (1851-52)
Poor lady in the lush reeds,
Drifting like a common recyclable,
Mouth a slack O!
What good can her gilded shroud perform now.
Someone has killed this young maid’s wit,
Snapped her mind like a branch underfoot.
Hysteria adored, then punished.
But, at least, her fate is to float
amongst the flowers. Look!
She has her rosemary, her panises,
A sprig of fennel, a bouquet of columbines,
Daisies, and, of course, rue.
And she blooms before us
In a gilded frame
Confined in our endless reverie.
Pray you, love, remember.
There is madness for you,
And madness for me.
It refuses to wither away.