A world was lined in velvet. Its garden pillars
      like huge chrysalides
trailed off into the unkempt
woods of fox dens and tungsten skies,
and its emblems—honeybees sealed in glass
      and pronged into rings,
halls of padded rodents and hummingbirds—
made nature less a precipice,
her exits and entrances as lifesize as a wish.

Kingdom of backyard naturalists,
cartographer of sacred stones,
Once, your aristocracy had a periscope in every
      chimney,
and wore, to hunt, the Order of the Stoat on
      their lapels;
Thumbelina floated in a walnut shell,
and dioramas of The Great Fire and Waterloo
preserved, like a plague arm in formaldehyde.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 8 Number 1, on page 49
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