Denise Levertov

Psalm Concerning the Castle

Let me be at the place of the castle.
Let the castle be within me.
Let it rise foursquare from the moat’s ring.
Let the moat’s waters reflect green plumage of ducks, let 
       the shells of swimming turtles break the surface or be 
       seen through the rippling depths.
Let horsemen be stationed at the rim of it, and a dog, al-
       ways alert on the brink of sleep.
Let the space under the first storey be dark, let the water 
       lap the stone posts, and vivid green slime glimmer 
       upon them; let a boat be kept there.
Let the caryatids of the second storey be bears upheld on 
       beams that are dragons.
On the parapet of the central room, let there be four Arch
       ers, looking off to the four horizons. Within, let the 
       prince be at home, let him sit in deep thought, at 
       peace, all the windows open to the loggias.
Let the young queen sit above, in the cool air, her child in 
       her arms; let her look with joy at the great circle, the 
       pilgrim shadows, the work of the sun and the play of 
       the wind. Let her walk to and fro. Let the columns 
       uphold the roof, let the storeys uphold the columns, 
       let there be dark space below the lowest floor, let the 
       castle rise foursquare out of the moat, let the moat be a 
       ring and the water deep, let the guardians guard it, let 
       there be wide lands around it, let that country where it 
       stands be within me, let me be where it is.