We were between armor and mummies 
                on the ground floor,
weighing preservation in a tin 
                vs humidor,

the hollow man vs stuffing for 
                a sarcophagus—
forgetting for a moment there were 
                portraits, sebaceous,

upstairs . . . here was, if not great art, 
                the artistic object,
cut to the measure of man (and child). 
                Horrors collect

no dust; rows of swords in side rooms 
                and outmoded firearms
impressed us less than the siren cresting 
                with unsettling charms