Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman
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   English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
738. A Match
 
Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)
 
 
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,        5
  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,        10
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        15
  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        20
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,        25
  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;        30
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        35
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.        40
 
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,        45
  And find his mouth a rein;
If you were queen of pleasure.
  And I were king of pain.
 

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