Summer afternoon in Hell!
Down the empty street it fell,
Pantaloon and Scaramouche —
Tongues like flames and shadows louche —
Flickered down the street together
In the spangled weather.
Flames, bright singing birds that pass,
Whistled wares as shrill as grass
(Landscapes clear as glittering glass),
Whistled all together:
Papagei, O Papagei,
Buy our greenest fruits, oh buy,
Melons misty from the bloom
Of mellow moons on some hot night,
Melting in the August light;
Apples like an emerald shower;
Nectarines that falling boom
On the grass in greenest gloom;
Peaches bright as parrot's feather
Glistening from the moon's bower;
Chequered like fritillaries,
Fat and red are strawberries.
Parrot-voices shrill together —
Now they pelt each monkey-face
(Pantaloon with simian grace)
From the soft gloom till they smother
Both the plumed headdresses
With the green fruit-gems that glitter
(Twinkling sharp sounds like a zither).
Sharp each bird-tongue shrills and hisses,
Parrot-voices shrieking bane;
Down comes every spangled shutter
With a sudden noise like rain.