It is a formal and deserted garden
With many a flower bed and winding path.
A cupid stands and draws a bow at venture
Upon a marble bath.
All around his feet the eager ivy grows,
Stretches upon the stone, above the ground,
And in the ivy flowers the busy bee
Makes a melodious sound.
From Out of Time by Stevie Smith
The rose garden of the Château Lafayette does not exactly match Stevie Smith’s garden out of time, but it’s a fairly close approximation. The deserted bit was certainly right when we visited, as you can see from the photograph.
The garden in the poem, which initially sounds like a pleasant sort of place to be, gradually becomes less and less appealing as the verses go on, and is eventually revealed as, “…an evil garden out of Time, A place of pain.”
I always thought that statue looked a bit shifty.