Some probs with the site meant the blog has been delayed. Apologies for those of you hanging on my every word.
The sonnet finished in the meantime and this is the (for the moment) final version. I decided on leaflike for the vaulting - because it is, and 'restrained' in line 8 because they are - both by their frames and their position. I think the change to line 10 is the only other alteration.
The steps which lead you to and from the quad,
Beneath quaint leaflike vaulting, Hogwarts style,
Will be the ones which greater feet have trod
While on their ponderous way through sceptred aisles
Where portraits of the great, time servers, plodders,
Men with many starts in life, old land, old names,
Men of learning, men of breeding, men of God
Hang in dark double rows, restrained, gilt-framed.
Great in their time, all male, all white, all dead,