My connection has been a bit spotty the past few days. Partly, Comcast sucks. Partly, our weather sucks. If it ain’t 120% humidity, it’s wind strong enough to topple buildings. I wanted to run a “Swinburne Poem a Day” post-a-thon (at least through the end of the month), and I wanted to start two days ago, but I also wanted a pony for my eighth birthday, and that never materialized, either. I will try to make amends today. Before I do, though, I must toot my own proverbial horn for a moment.

Most of the visitors to this site are of the non-human variety: robots, spiders, crawlers, and the occasional piece of referrer spam. I don’t post often, and when I do, it’s usually meaningless tripe like “I just made this obscure upgrade to my webpage coding that should have no effect on what you see!!!” The rare fleshy and semi-sentient visitors I get usually come for a select few pieces of information: sample SAS code, nutrition information for Frito-Lay SUNCHIPS®, info about Altoids sours, Info about Caroline Myss or Greenwich University, Blümchen photos, any number of books, or, sadly, pornography (there’s none here, strangely enough). It seems that what little actual informational content is here might be marginally useful to someone else. I am happy to report that I am currently the first site returned on the following Google searches:

I’m pretty sure that means I’m cool.

So now—a Swinburne poem for your enjoyment before I go drown my thirst in the company of the saucy barmaid who brightened my day so much on Monday. Well, not so much in her company as in her service area, but whatever…

If you loved me ever so little,
  I could bear the bonds that gall,
I could dream the bonds were brittle ;
  You do not love me at all.

O beautiful lips, O bosom
  More white than the moon’s and warm,
A sterile, a ruinous blossom
  Is blown your way in a storm.

As the lost white feverish limbs
  Of the Lesbian Sappho, adrift
In foam where the sea-weed swims,
  Swam loose for the streams to lift,

My heart swims blind in a sea
  That stuns me ; swims to and fro,
And gathers to windward and lee
  Lamentation, and mourning, and woe.

A broken, an emptied boat,
  Sea saps it, winds blow apart,
Sick and adrift and afloat,
  The barren waif of a heart.

Where, when the gods would be cruel,
  Do they go for a torture ? where
Plant thorns, set pain like a jewel ?
  Ah, not in the flesh, not there !

The racks of earth and the rods
  Are weak as foam on the sands ;
In the heart is the prey for gods,
  Who crucify hearts, not hands.

Mere pangs corrode and consume,
  Dead when life dies in the brain ;
In the infinite spirit is room
  For the pulse of an infinite pain.

I wish you were dead, my dear ;
  I would give you, had I to give,
Some death too bitter to fear ;
  It is better to die than live.

I wish you were stricken of thunder
  And burnt with a bright flame through,
Consumed and cloven in sunder,
  I dead at your feet like you.

If I could but know after all,
  I might cease to hunger and ache,
Though your heart were ever so small,
  If it were not a stone or a snake.

You are crueller, you that we love,
  Than hatred, hunger, or death ;
You have eyes and breasts like a dove,
  And you kill men’s hearts with a breath.

As plague in a poisonous city
  Insults and exults on her dead,
So you, when pallid for pity
  Comes love, and fawns to be fed.

As a tame beast writhes and wheedles,
  He fawns to be fed with wiles ;
You carve him a cross of needles,
  And whet them sharp as your smiles.

He is patient of thorn and whip,
  He is dumb under axe or dart ;
You suck with a sleepy red lip
  The wet red wounds in his heart.

You thrill as his pulses dwindle,
  You brighten and warm as he bleeds,
With insatiable eyes that kindle
  And insatiable mouth that feeds.

Your hands nailed love to the tree,
  You stript him, scourged him with rods,
And drowned him deep in the sea
  That hides the dead and their gods.

And for all this, die will he not ;
  There is no man sees him but I ;
You came and went and forgot ;
  I hope he will some day die.

Algernon Charles Swinburne, Satia Te Sanguine

NP: David Gray, This Years Love