A Parisian Roof Garden in 1918 by Natalie Clifford Barney | Poets.org

  • Sat Mar 22nd, 2014 7:52pm
  • Life

As I must mount to feed those doves of ours,

Perhaps you too will spend nocturnal hours

Upon your roof

So high aloof

That from its terraced bowers

We catch at clouds and draw a bath from showers.

Before the moon has made all pale the night,

Let’s meet with flute and viol, and supper light:

A yew lamb, minted sauce, a raisined bun,

A melon riper than the melting sun–

A flask of Xeres, that we’ve scarce begun–

We’ll try the « lunar waltz » while floats afar

Upon the liquid night–night’s nenuphar.

Or else, with senses tuned alike perchance,

Reclining love will make the heavens dance;

And if the enemy from aerial cars

Drops death, we’ll share it vibrant with the stars!

Today’s poem is in the public domain.

About This Poem

“A Parisian Roof Garden in 1918” by Natalie Clifford Barney appears in Barney’s bilingual collection of poetry Poems & Poèmes: Autres Alliances (Paris: Emile Paul, New York: Doran, 1920).


Natalie Clifford Barney was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1876. An American playwright, poet, and novelist, Barney lived as an expatriate in Paris, where she hosted a literary salon for over sixty years. She died in Paris in 1972.

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