On one of Hardy’s most haunting poems about the past
‘A Spellbound Palace’ is not one of Thomas Hardy’s best-known poems, but in our opinion it is one of his best. Focusing on Hampton Court Palace on the River Thames, and summoning memories of Tudor England during the time of Cardinal Wolsey and King Henry VIII, ‘A Spellbound Palace’ is a moody and evocative poem that deserves more critical attention than it has received.
A Spellbound Palace
On this kindly yellow day of mild low-travelling winter sun
The stirless depths of the yews
Are vague with misty blues:
Across the spacious pathways stretching spires of shadow run,
And the wind-gnawed walls of ancient brick are fired vermilion.
Two or three early sanguine finches tune
Some tentative strains, to be enlarged by May or June: Read the rest of this entry