When I came to write We Are Villains All and its poetry, one of the first poems I started with was this one: False May. I wanted to write something that would give you an idea about the character of the hero and the women in his life, his attitude to love and his expectations of happiness. The question is whether or not he can ever trust his feelings...
|Stages of Cruelty (1857) Ford Madox Brown|
When I was first to fall for May, I thought her like a bloom,
That ranged upon the apple tree and lasted all through June,
So steadfast was her love, I swore her heart was everlasting,
I did not heed the faint of sweet that marked my true love-fasting.
Oh how I loved you, estimable May, and never paused to wonder,
Your ways to steal from my love’s safe, my honesty to plunder,
I never felt your hand, sweet May, steal in and seize my heart,
But only to acquire just that, to take that single part.
Through my devotion, I was blind and never saw it all,
How you curate a mount of hearts collected on your wall.
I did not sense the death, my love, I suffered at your hand,
Without my heart, I stricken fell, but cared not what you planned.
But through it all, my lifeless eye could settle nowhere other,
For I believed that we remained beloved to each other,
I was her fool, I marked it not, although the bindings choke,
For my sweet May I would this day assume the self-same yoke.
And I have loved you, wondrous May, through all eternity,
‘Though it matter naught to you, ‘twas everything to me.
That I would die, beloved May, and never know of this,
That you were mine, my false, false May, and broke me on your kiss.
We Are Villains All will be out before Christmas and look out for some exerts from it in the next few weeks!