Rule No. 2 of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

by David Jones

Jane Burden, his raven-haired lover
stepping out of her curvilinear drapery
is a naked model for Ecce Ancilla Domini.
To study nature attentively: the abiding axiom.

It is de rigueur: camera-like accuracy for
a pink carnation lying on an open book,
a collared dove or the opium poppy
for Beata Beatrix, and, when he can’t find

a tree in bloom, writes letters to friends
imploring watercolours for apple blossom,
meaning ‘preference’ in A Vision of Fiammetta,
like sycamore boughs from 16 Cheyne Walk.

For those trysts at Kelmscott Manor,
Jane as Proserpine, by Pluto doomed,
but, when she wants to make love to him,
leaves a yellow pansy in his room.