All items

G. R. Drysdale
Description:
Text:
There is a great deal of erroneous feeling attached to the subject of the sexual desires in woman. To have strong sexual passions is held to be rather a disgrace for a woman, and they are looked down upon as animal, sensual, coarse, and deserving of reprobation. The moral emotions of love are indeed thought beautiful in her; but the physical ones are rather held unwomanly and debasing.
John Addington Symonds
Description:

Page images include only pages of prose essay which contain the poem.

Text:
" I He was all beautiful: as fair As summer in the silent trees; As bright as sunshine on the leas; As gentle as the evening air.   His voice was swifter than the lark;   Softer than thistle-down his cheek;
John Addington Symonds
Description:
Text:
Dear friend, I know not if such days and nights Of fervent comradeship as we have spent, Or if twin minds with equal ardour bent To search the world's unspeakable delights, Or if long hours passed on Parnassian heights Together in rapt interminglement Of heart with heart on thought sublime intent, Or if the spark of heaven-born fire that lights
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Description:

"Jenny" is a lengthy, dramatic monologue about a woman who is working as a prostitute narrated by a male customer. The narrator romanticizes and sympathizes with the role of prostitute throughout this poem. The excerpt below are stanzas 22-24 of the poem. In this portion of the poem the narrator comments women's innocence loss as well as the world of lust people reside in (which he is also shamefully a part of and that no one seems to be able to escape). It is also interesting to note that the first edition of Rossetti's Poems held within the British Library contains an inscription Rossetti made to Jane Morris, who was the muse of Rossetti as well as her husband William Morris. Rossetti and Jane Morris were involved in an affair over many years. 

Text:
     Like a rose shut in a book  In which pure women may not look,  For its base pages claim control  To crush the flower within the soul;  Where through each dead rose-leaf that clings,  Pale as transparent psyche-wings,  To the vile text, are traced such things  As might make lady’s cheek indeed 
Marc-André Raffalovich
Description:

Raffalovich published the following poem during the same period where he ran a salon in London. It was here where Raffalovich met his life-long partner, John Gray, through his friend Oscar Wilde. This poem describes the narrator falling in love with a man, an act considered both illegal and immoral at the time. The abab rhyme scheme creates an innocent sing-song effect, while the emphasis on the pleasures of Love create juxtaposition with the ideas of Vice, Crime, and Sin. 

Text:
The lips of Vice were painted,      The face of Vice was white, Love passed on unacquainted,      Intent on Love's delight.   And though Love's heart beat faster      Beneath the eyes of Crime, His breath he strove to master,     And hummed a foolish rhyme.   But when the sun was shining
Marc-André Raffalovich
Description:

In this Shakespearian sonnet, Raffalovich is condemning other men in British society who judged or wished harm upon him and his lover due to their sexuality. The poem expresses that the two lovers have done nothing to harm anyone and that he chooses living how they are happiest over the approval of others.

Text:
Put on that languor which the world frowns on, That blamed misleading strangeness of attire, And let them see that see us we have done With their false worldliness and look up higher. Because the world has treated us so ill And brought suspicion near our happiness, Let men that like to slander as they will;
Agnes Mary Frances Robinson
Description:
Text:
FORGOTTEN seers of lost repute   That haunt the banks of Acheron, Where have you dropped the broken lute   You played in Troy or Calydon ?   O ye that sang in Babylon By foreign willows cold and grey,   Fall'n are the harps ye hanged thereon,Dead are the tunes of yesterday ! De Coucy, is your music mute,
Amy Levy
Description:

Victorian writer, Amy Levy, wrote "A Ballad of Religion and Marriage" during a period where a woman's value was based almost solely upon her marital status. This piece challenges tradition and gender roles in order to show Levy's hope for a future where people aren't judged based upon their religious beliefs or their marital status.

Text:
Swept into limbo is the host    Of heavenly angels, row on row; The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,    Pale and defeated, rise and go. The great Jehovah is laid low,    Vanished his burning bush and rod— Say, are we doomed to deeper woe?    Shall marriage go the way of God? Monogamous, still at our post,    Reluctantly we undergo
Christina Rossetti
Description:
Text:
Once in a dream (for once I dreamed of you)   We stood together in an open field ;   Above our heads two swift-winged pigeons wheeled, Sporting at ease and courting full in view. When loftier still a broadening darkness flew,   Down-swooping, and a ravenous hawk revealed ;   Too weak to fight, too fond to fly, they yield ;
Michael Field
Description:
Text:
A Girl,      Her soul a deep-wave pearl Dim, lucent of all lovely mysteries;      A face flowered for heart's ease,      A brow's grace soft as seas      Seen through faint forest-trees:      A mouth, the lips apart, Like aspen-leaflets trembling in the breeze
Charlotte Mew
Description:
Text:
Á Quoi Bon Dire Seventeen years ago you said    Something that sounded like Good-bye;    And everybody thinks you are dead,            But I.    So I, as I grow stiff and cold To this and that say Good-bye too ;
Eliza Mary Hamilton
Description:
Text:
Was she an orphan? —can another grief     So wholly chasten? —can another woe So sanctify? —for she was (as a leaf     Of hue funereal mid the Spring's young glow) Robed in emphatic black: —the soul of night     Filled her rich simply-parted ebon hair,
A.E. Housman
Description:
Text:
" A.J.J.   When he's returned I'll tell him — oh, Dear fellow, I forgot: Time was you would have cared to know, But now it matters not.   I mourn you, and you heed not how; Unsaid the word must stay;
Charlotte Mew
Description:
Text:
Sometimes I know the way You walk, up over the bay; It is a wind from that far sea That blows the fragrance of your hair to me. Or in this garden when the breeze Touches my trees To stir their dreaming shadows on the grass I see you pass.
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Description:
Text:
My life is bitter with thy love ; thine eyes Blind me, thy tresses burn me, thy sharp sighs Divide my flesh and spirit with soft sound, And my blood strengthens, and my veins abound. I pray thee sigh not, speak not, draw not breath ; Let life burn down, and dream it is not death. I would the sea had hidden us, the fire
John Davenport
Description:
Text:
As an erotic stimulant, more particularly, it may be observed that, considering the many intimate and sympathetic relations existing between the nervous branches of the extremity of the spinal marrow, it is impossible to doubt that flagellation exercised upon the buttocks and the adjacent parts, has a powerful effect upon the organs of generation…The case of John Jacques Rousseau is well known.
Oscar Wilde
Description:
Text:
IS it thy will that I should wax and wane,Barter my cloth of gold for hodden grey,And at thy pleasure weave that web of painWhose brightest threads are each a wasted day?Is it thy will That my Soul's House should be a tortured spotWherein, like evil paramours, must dwell
A. E. Housman
Description:
Text:
Ask me no more, for fear I should reply;     Others have held their tongues, and so can I, Hundreds have died, and told no tale befoer:     Ask me no more, for fear I should reply -- How one was true and one was clean of stain     And one was braver than the heavens are high,
Amy Levy
Description:
Text:
WITH fruit and flowers the board is deckt,   The wine and laughter flow ; I'll not complain—could one expect   So dull a world to know ? You look across the fruit and flowers,   My glance your glances find.— It is our secret, only ours,   Since all the world is blind.
A.E Housman
Description:
Text:
Because I liked you better      Than suits a man to say, It irked you, and I promised      To throw the thought away. To put the world between us      We parted, stiff and dry; 'Good-bye', said you, 'forget me.'      'I will, no fear', said I.
Amy Levy
Description:

Amy Levy published this poem as a part of her collection A London Plane-tree and other Verse . The poem celebrates the nights she gets to spend sleeping next to her love, and laments how short the summer nights are for they give her less time with her beloved. 

Text:
Am I waking, am I sleeping? As the first faint dawn comes creeping Thro' the pane, I am aware Of an unseen presence hovering, Round, above, in dusky air ; A downy bird, with an odorous wing, That fans my forehead, and sheds perfume, As sweet as love, as soft as death, Drowsy-slow through the summer-gloom.
Horatio Brown
Description:
Text:
At a London Music Two rows of foolish faces blent In two blurred lines; the compliment, The formal smile, the cultured air, The sense of falseness everywhere. Her ladyship superbly dressed — I liked their footman, John, the best.
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Description:

"Carmilla" is a Gothic novella that was originally published as a serial in the literary magazine The Dark Blue. It tells the story of an eighteen-year-old girl named Laura and her house guest, Carmilla. Laura is instantly drawn to the beautiful and cryptic girl, but despite her insistent prodding, Carmilla refuses to tell Laura about her past. Carmilla seduces Laura through her words and actions, and the girls soon develop an intimate relationship. Le Fanu demonstrates the sexual tension between the two girls in the following passages.

Text:
Sometimes after an hour of apathy, my strange and beautiful companion would take my hand and hold it with a fond pressure, renewed again and again; blushing softly, gazing in my face with languid and burning eyes, and breathing so fast that her dress rose and fell with the tumultuous respiration.
Michael Field
Description:
Text:
I love her with the seasons, with the winds, As the stars worship, as anemones Shudder in secret for the sun, as bees Buzz round an open flower: in all kinds My love is perfect, and in each she finds Herself the goal: then why, intent to teaze