Kubla Khan: a fragment of a fragment
(1987. Because prior to this I didn’t like the original, so I thought to parody it. With apologies to S.T. Colleridge)
In Reservoir did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome deliver
Where Darabin, the muddy creak ran
By tunnels made by man
down to the Yarra River.
So twice five ‘yards* of fractured ground
With sheds and fences somewhere around:
And there were gardens limp and rum,
Where blossomed a few deciduous trees;
And there were weeds and a baby plum,
Shading plots of beans and peas.
But oh! that shallow romancesless gully which slanted
Down the scrochéd hill across a blackened cover!
A savage place! as unholy and bewitched
As e’er beneath a waxing moon was haunted
By a girl whispering for her truent-lover!
* ‘yards = backyards, land behind a house encircled by a fence indicating it belongs to the house.