Guest poem submitted by Suresh Ramasubramanian:
(Poem #415) The Truth of Woman
Woman's faith, and woman's trust - Write the characters in the dust; Stamp them on the running stream, Print them on the moon's pale beam, And each evanescent letter Shall be clearer, firmer, better, And more permanent, I ween, Than the thing those letters mean. I have strain'd the spider's thread 'Gainst the promise of a maid; I have weigh'd a grain of sand 'Gainst her plight of heart and hand; I told my true love of the token, How her faith proved light, and her word was broken: Again her word and truth she plight, And I believed them again ere night.
[from "The Betrothed" - 1825] Scott has a well deserved reputation for writing novels and poems full of romance, humor and swashbuckling action. This is one of the few poems (and I've read them all) in which I've seen him write in such a bitter vein. Love is blind, they say (who ~are~ "they", by the way?). Scott sounds more like Auden in one of his blacker moods here (and Auden typically sounds like a cuckold whining for sympathy - though it is a beautiful whine, I must say). Scott is, by the way, my favorite author ~and~ poet - even P.G.Wodehouse would be hard pressed to match his talent for gentle humour and his deft phrasing. Try reading Scott's note on the "Stirrup Cup" in "Waverly" for an idea of what I mean. Suresh.