Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Vivien's Song

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

‘In Love, if Love be Love, if Love be ours,
Faith and unfaith can ne’er be equal powers:
Unfaith in aught is want of faith in all.

‘It is the little rift within the lute,
That by and by will make the music mute,
And ever widening slowly silence all.

‘The little rift within the lover’s lute
Or little pitted speck in garnered fruit,
That rotting inward slowly moulders all.

‘It is not worth the keeping: let it go:
But shall it? answer, darling, answer, no.
And trust me not at all or all in all.’

* * *

This poem makes a good counterpart to "Enid's Song," which I posted last spring. This poem can have two meanings, as I read it: either "unfaith" is the lover's lack of faith in her, or it is his lack of faithfulness. She either means, "If you doubt me in one thing, you doubt me in all," or, "If you are unfaithful to me in one thing, you are unfaithful to me in all." I generally take it with the first meaning, because of the last line mentioning trust.

This is on my mind because of my English paper on Cymbeline. Posthumus' lack of trust in Imogen nearly destroys their relationship. Trust is essential in any relationship, especially for those in love. Love without trust is empty.

No comments: