*Inspired by George Dunlop Leslie's painting of the same title
The wizard's slumbering garden
spins magic with ivy thread.
The lure of this mystical web
snares the beauteous girl in red.
He christens this damsel "Scarlet"
for the hue of her crimson gown,
for the tint of her blooming cheeks
that contrast the ashen ground.
The garden robs her rubescence
to fuel the wizard's dark spells,
draining her beauty and vibrance
until Scarlet becomes a mere shell.
But to her, this yard rivals Eden,
teeming with flowers and fruit,
bursting with colour and light,
from tallest tree to deepest root.
But her vision is mere mirage
in a garden half-dying and grim,
in a graveyard of latent runes
that veil this labyrinth of sin.
Here in the wizard's garden,
warm breath and cold death collide.
In the guise of a noble pardon,
Scarlet becomes his blind bride.
For Isaiah's "George Dunlop Leslie" contest
Here is a link to the painting: http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/misc/leslie1.html