|Love often takes us by surprise; here a simple bench becomes an altar to Venus|
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle -
Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
This is one of my favorite Romantic poems. Shelley draws on nature to illustrate that everything is connected; we are part of this world, not separate from it or set above nature.
Shelley's poem is a hopeful anticipation of a love yet to come to full bloom... a dream of that very first kiss between two people...it is a gentle plea for sweet surrender.
Love's Philosophy is a subtle invitation to a sexual encounter "Why not I with thine?" he asks. Why not indeed? I'm not sure I could resist...could you?
The picture is called The End of the Song by Edmund Blair Leighton. I have a print of this in my bedroom. I like the way the suitor is leaning in, but not crowding his fair maiden, while she sets up a slight barrier between them by clasping her knee.
It illustrates a brief moment in time, sitting on a bench with a lover, which is about to be interrupted by the over-protective parent. But I like to think they might have a secret tryst some other time, away from prying eyes. If it is meant to be Love will always find a way.