I would now that I might have been thy bed.
So dark a night it was that wouldst thou sleep
And, weary, rest–a child in my keep–
Upon my breast thy fair and frightened head.
And calm, indeed, to sleep as I have said:
No want or need forgotten whilst thou weep’
To heal thy soul. A drink of comfort, deep,
Would make thee whole again, my child, instead
Of being broke; to smile for me again
When next thou woke‘, and look into mine eyes;
And I would see my Sister gazing up
To smile at me–a smile I would prize
Above all pleasure. For, devoid of pain,
Would grace and measure ever fill her cup.
Here you will find the words themselves, presented in freeverse as simply and compactly as possible. The order of the words is not changed; there is nothing added or removed, but punctuated in order to make it easier to follow the words–something just short of prose, perhaps. And although the line lengths appear problematic, it so happens that there are 14 of these lines.
I should state that the words were originally written this way, although you might have suspected that the original form was presented in part 5. In any case, the words are easily understood now.
Just read the words. Think about what they mean; perhaps in answer to the original prompt:
I thought the following would be an interesting form of analysis. What would happen, I wondered, if I picked out all or most of the verb/verb-like structures and began each line with them? How many would there be, and what form would begin to unfold? Strangely Triadic line more or less suggests itself. Not of the form I originally showed but still this exercise generates 14 verses, and it might start to become clear that I tend to subconsciously “think in sonnets.” I wasn’t aware originally that some of these types of patterns would arise, but it seems as though they have.
Have a look and see if this helps you understand the words any better. What does one think of when one sees such lines? It is curious that many of the lines appear to look and sound like a certain variety of 20 century poetry; wherein one often sees lines beginning and ending in odd spots–possibly to create tension, and possibly for some other reason–or even no reason at all.