The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto Xi. Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


I Platonic LoveB
Right art thou who wouldst rather beC
A doorkeeper in Love's fair houseD
Than lead the wretched revelryC
Where fools at swinish troughs carouseE
But do not boast of being leastF
And if to kiss thy Mistress' skirtG
Amaze thy brain scorn not the PriestF
Whom greater honours do not hurtG
Stand off and gaze if more than thisH
Be more than thou canst understandI
Revering him whose power of blissH
Angelic dares to seize her handI
Or whose seraphic love makes flightJ
To the apprehension of her lipsK
And think the sun of such delightJ
From thine own darkness takes eclipseK
And wouldst thou to the same aspireL
This is the art thou must employM
Live greatly so shalt thou acquireN
Unknown capacities of joyM
II A DemonstrationO
Nature with endless being rifeP
Parts each thing into him and herN
And in the arithmetic of lifeP
The smallest unit is a pairQ
And thus oh strange sweet half of meC
If I confess a loftier flameR
If more I love high Heaven than theeC
I more than love thee thee I amS
And if the world's not built of liesT
Nor all a cheat the Gospel tellsU
If that which from the dead shall riseT
Be I indeed not something elseV
There's no position more secureW
In reason or in faith than thisH
That those conditions must endureW
Which wanting I myself should missH
III The SymbolX
As if I chafed the sparks from glassY
And said It lightens hithertoZ
The songs I've made of love may passY
For all but for proportion trueZ
But likeness and proportion bothA2
Now fail as if a child in gleeC
Catching the flakes of the salt frothB2
Cried Look my mother here's the seaC
Yet by the help of what's so weakC2
But not diverse to those who knowD2
And only unto those I speakC2
May far inferring fancy showD2
Love's living sea by coasts uncurb'dZ
Its depth its mystery and its mightZ
Its indignation if disturb'dZ
The glittering peace of its delightZ
IV Constancy rewardedZ
I vow'd unvarying faith and sheC
To whom in full I pay that vowE2
Rewards me with varietyC
Which men who change can never knowD2
The WeddingF2
Life smitten with a feverish chillG2
The brain too tired to understandZ
In apathy of heart and willG2
I took the woman from the handZ
Of him who stood for God and heardZ
Of Christ and of the Church his BrideZ
The Feast by presence of the LordZ
And his first Wonder beautifiedZ
The mystic sense to Christian menH2
The bonds in innocency madeZ
And gravely to be enter'd thenH2
For children godliness and aidZ
And honour'd and kept free from smirchC
And how a man must love his wifeP
No less than Christ did love His ChurchC
If need be giving her his lifeP
And vowing then the mutual vowE2
The tongue spoke but intention sleptZ
'Tis well for us Heaven asks not howE2
We take this oath but how 'tis keptZ
O bold seal of a bashful bondZ
Which makes the marriage day to beC
To those before it and beyondZ
An iceberg in an Indian seaC
Now while she's changing said the DeanI2
Her bridal for her travelling dressJ2
I'll preach allegiance to your queenI2
Preaching's the thing which I professJ2
And one more minute's mine You knowD2
I've paid my girl a father's debtZ
And this last charge is all I oweD2
She's your's but I love more than yetZ
You can such fondness only wakesK2
When time has raised the heart aboveB
The prejudice of youth which makesK2
Beauty conditional to loveB
Prepare to meet the weak alarmsL2
Of novel nearness recollectZ
The eye which magnifies her charmsL2
Is microscopic for defectZ
Fear comes at first but soon rejoicedZ
You'll find your strong and tender lovesM2
Like holy rocks by Druids poisedZ
The least force shakes but none removesN2
Her strength is your esteem bewareQ
Of finding fault her will's unnerv'dZ
By blame from you 'twould be despairQ
But praise that is not quite deserv'dZ
Will all her noble nature moveO2
To make your utmost wishes trueZ
Yet think while mending thus your LoveB
Of matching her ideal tooZ
The death of nuptial joy is slothA2
To keep your mistress in your wifeP
Keep to the very height your oathA2
And honour her with arduous lifeP
Lastly no personal reverence doffP2
Life's all externals unto thoseQ2
Who pluck the blushing petals offP2
To find the secret of the roseQ2
How long she's tarrying Green's HotelR2
I'm sure you'll like The charge is fairQ
The wines good I remember wellR2
I stay'd once with her Mother thereQ
A tender conscience of her vowE2
That Mother had She's so like herN
But Mrs Fife much flurried nowE2
Whisper'd Miss Honor's ready SirN
Whirl'd off at last for speech I soughtZ
To keep shy Love in countenanceS2
But whilst I vainly tax'd my thoughtZ
Her voice deliver'd mine from tranceT2
Look is not this a pretty shawlU2
Aunt's parting gift She's always kindZ
The new wing spoils Sir John's old HallU2
You'll see it if you pull the blindZ
I drew the silk in heaven the nightZ
Was dawning lovely Venus shoneV2
In languishment of tearful lightZ
Swathed by the red breath of the sunO

Coventry Patmore


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