Friday, December 16, 2011

A "beware the wrath of the women" PSF.

"What rhymes with scum-sucker?"

That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf’s hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said
“Fra Pandolf” by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’twas not
Her husband’s presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps
Fra Pandolf chanced to say “Her mantle laps
Over my lady’s wrist too much,” or “Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat”: such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace—all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked
Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
—E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We’ll meet
The company below, then. I repeat,
The Count your master’s known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

14 comments:

Melbourne Girl said...

Is that your favourite? I love My Last Duchess, it's one of the few that I 'know' as in studied and adored. I'll never forget the moment of realising what had happened. I like poems like that; they are less about symbolism and puffed-up obfuscation and more about telling it like it is so that dimwits like me can 'get it.'

Good choice, sir. Very good choice.

Or is there some twisted meaning in posting this one? When you talk about wrath you mean moi? Because the poem itself would be more about beware the wrath of jealous Dukes, n'est ce pas?

squib said...

ha! I was wondering about the wrath as well

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

No, this is one of my favourites, Melbs.

This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together.


is one of the most chilling lines ever written.

Melbourne Girl said...

Agree Ramon. It's wonderful though. Thanks.

catlick said...

This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together.

Is this an oblique reference to this?

Merry Christmas youse. And I just wanted an excuse to post that.

Melbourne Girl said...

Interesting catlick, this is the hate blog I mentioned here a while ago I think. Or maybe I was restrained and didn't. It was a very professional job, quite impressive but really, really fucking nasty. I wondered if it was a part 2 to some stuff from the past.

OH AND HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE

Hot innit?

Melbourne Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Hot innit?

Actually, it's been more like April up here. I've talked to some people further inland who say they've even had their heaters running.

I think the weather is broken.

Melbourne Girl said...

I just thought you'd be even more sweltery up north Alex. You're saying it's cool?

The weather is indeed broken.

So... what'cha reading?

Alex said...

You're saying it's cool?

Indeed it is, Melba. Feels like the mildest summer we've had in quite a while. Been wearing a shirt to bed and everything.

So... what'cha reading?

Anything I can find on encryption, online privacy/anonymity & the coming (probably) shift towards "cloud" based data storage.

How's the Game Of Thrones books going?

Melbourne Girl said...

Haven't started the books yet, Alex. Caught up in some non-fiction at the moment. Have also not watched any more eps yet, interrupted by festive season. Damn that festive season. Will get back to ASAP.

Tell me more about the clouds data storage? Are several people able to access remotely? Can it be used for file sharing, ie just text files nothing fancy pants?

Alex said...

I wrote you a lengthy response at lunchtime, Melba, but it appears Blogger has eaten it. I'll have another go.

Alex said...

Nope? Maybe if I break it into two smaller comments.

... to everyone not interested in this, my apologies.

Alex said...

Hmmm, still no joy. Maybe I could just send you an email or something Melba?