Babur at Agra
Having conquered the subcontinent, the emperor
was lonely for the cool Afghani hills, the windy plains
of Mongolia, the hanging gardens of Kabul. So,
although he had palaces in Delhi, he told his architects
to make him proper gardens, planned in accordance
with the layout, as best they could estimate, of Paradise:
attention was paid to symmetry, to holy numbers,
and he requested cool baths, shade-giving trees,
and those flowers that fill the air with sweetness at night.
When it was done, the emperor's servants brought
a brocaded chaise, a carpet patterned with birds.
On hot afternoons he received guests in the shade
on the terrace nearest the river, to catch the breeze.
At night he walked the fragrant pathways,
thinking of when he slept in the open air.