Pleasure From Such Little Effort

old booksflat,550x550,075,fGladly I can point my finger at my high school English teacher for awakening my awareness to Victorian poetry. What began when I was fifteen has grown to become a treasured appreciation. I find solace in words as they dance off my tongue when I read evenly metered rhyming poems aloud (or mentally to myself); so much pleasure from such  little effort.

If love were what the rose is,
And I were like the leaf,
Our lives would grow together
In sad or singing weather,
Blown fields or flowerful closes,
Green pleasure or gray grief;
If love were what the rose is,
And I were like the leaf.

If I were what the words are,
And love were like the tune,
With double sound and single
Delight our lips would mingle,
With kisses glad as birds are
That get sweet rain at noon;
If I were what the words are,
And love were like the tune.

If you were life, my darling,
And I your love were death,
We’d shine and snow together
Ere March made sweet the weather
With daffodil and starling
And hours of fruitful breath;
If you were life, my darling,
And I your love were death.

If you were thrall to sorrow,
And I were page to joy,
We’d play for lives and seasons
With loving looks and treasons
And tears of night and morrow
And laughs of maid and boy;
If you were thrall to sorrow,
And I were page to joy.

If you were April’s lady,
And I were lord in May,
We’d throw with leaves for hours
And draw for days with flowers,
Till day like night were shady
And night were bright like day;
If you were April’s lady,
And I were lord in May.

If you were queen of pleasure,
And I were king of pain,
We’d hunt down love together,
Pluck out his flying-feather,
And teach his feet a measure,
And find his mouth a rein;
If you were queen of pleasure,
And I were king of pain.
A Match by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)

My high school English teacher was Miss Upchurch, who I have written about before –  https://goodmorninggratitude.com/2011/05/23/388/ Her personal unrequited love story combined with what she taught created a permanent place in my mind and heart. I am grateful to have known her and for the love of poetry she caused to begin in me.

A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same
once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change
the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge
of himself and the world around him.
Dylan Thomas

About James Browning

A seeker working to grow each day and be a better version of my self. Through sharing I commit myself deeper to my ideals and beliefs.
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