The Castle of Muiden in Winter, by Jan Beerstraten (1622-1666), in the National Gallery, London, at
Before the Internet, I’d never seen
the angels, faces, roses, in this sky
that dominates the canvas on my screen.
Before it was lit up I wondered why
heaven appeared so gray and nondescript
above a scene of cheerful diligence
where skaters skimmed the ice and never slipped.
Not one collision hinders their good sense.
They twirl about a castle dark and stately
whose frozen moat accommodates their play,
and whose interior (as I’ve learned lately)
was filled with literati in their day:
the Muiderkring, which was this heaven’s source,
its earthly link—unclickable, of course.