'Love' by Charles Stuart Calverley

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1Canst thou love me, lady?
2I've not learn'd to woo:
3Thou art on the shady
4Side of sixty too.
5Still I love thee dearly!
6Thou hast lands and pelf:
7But I love thee merely
8Merely for thyself.

9Wilt thou love me, fairest?
10Though thou art not fair;
11And I think thou wearest
12Someone-else's hair.
13Thou could'st love, though, dearly:
14And, as I am told,
15Thou art very nearly
16Worth thy weight, in gold.

17Dost thou love me, sweet love?
18Tell me that thou dost!
19Women fairly beat one,
20But I think thou must.
21Thou art loved so dearly:
22I am plain, but then
23Thou (to speak sincerely)
24Art as plain again.

25Love me, bashful fairy!
26I've an empty purse:
27And I've "moods," which vary;
28Mostly for the worse.
29Still, I love thee dearly:
30Though I make (I feel)
31Love a little queerly,
32I'm as true as steel.

33Love me, swear to love me
34(As, you know, they do)
35By yon heaven above me
36And its changeless blue.
37Love me, lady, dearly,
38If you'll be so good;
39Though I don't see clearly
40On what ground you should.

41Love me -- ah or love me
42Not, but be my bride!
43Do not simply shove me
44(So to speak) aside!
45P'raps it would be dearly
46Purchased at the price;
47But a hundred yearly
48Would be very nice.

Editor 1 Interpretation


Have you ever read a poem that made your heart flutter and your soul sing? If not, then you need to read Charles Stuart Calverley's "Poetry, Love". This classic piece of literature is a masterpiece that captures the essence of love and poetry in a way that is both beautiful and poignant. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will delve into the themes, structure, and language of Calverley's poem and explore its deeper meanings.


At its core, "Poetry, Love" is a love poem. It explores the passion and intensity of romantic love and the power of poetry to express that love. Calverley uses vivid imagery and rich language to convey the depth of his feelings. The poem is also a meditation on the nature of poetry itself. Calverley explores the role of the poet as a creator and the power of language to inspire and move people.


The poem is structured in four stanzas, each with four lines. The rhyme scheme is ABAB, and the meter is iambic tetrameter. The consistent structure and rhythm give the poem a sense of order and balance, which mirrors the themes of love and poetry. The regularity of the structure also allows the language to shine, as Calverley's words flow effortlessly and beautifully.


One of the most striking features of "Poetry, Love" is Calverley's use of language. He employs a rich vocabulary and intricate syntax to convey the depth of his emotions. The poem is filled with metaphors and similes that compare love to various natural phenomena, such as the sea, the stars, and the wind. These comparisons add depth and texture to the poem, giving it a sense of universality that speaks to the human experience of love.

Calverley also uses language to explore the power of poetry. He describes poetry as a "charm" and a "spell" that can move people and stir their hearts. This idea of poetry as a magical force is a common theme in Romantic literature, and Calverley's poem is no exception.


So what is the deeper meaning behind "Poetry, Love"? At its core, the poem is about the power of love and poetry to move us. Calverley's words are a celebration of the human experience of love and the ability of language to express that love in all its beauty and complexity.

The poem is also a meditation on the role of the poet. Calverley suggests that the poet is not just a creator of words, but a conjurer of emotions and a weaver of spells. The poet has the power to move people, to inspire them, and to bring them closer to the divine.

At the same time, the poem is a cautionary tale. Calverley reminds us that love and poetry are not always easy. They can be tumultuous and unpredictable, like the sea or the wind. But despite the challenges, love and poetry are worth pursuing. They are the things that make life worth living, and the things that give us hope and inspiration even in the darkest of times.


In conclusion, "Poetry, Love" is a masterpiece of Romantic literature that captures the essence of love and poetry in a way that is both beautiful and profound. Calverley's words are a celebration of the human experience of love and the power of language to express that love in all its complexity. The poem is a meditation on the role of the poet and the power of poetry to move and inspire us. It is a reminder that love and poetry are not always easy, but they are worth pursuing because they are the things that make life worth living.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Love: An Analysis of Charles Stuart Calverley's Classic

Poetry is a form of art that has been used to express emotions, thoughts, and ideas for centuries. It is a medium that allows us to communicate our deepest feelings and connect with others on a profound level. Charles Stuart Calverley's classic poem, Poetry Love, is a beautiful example of how poetry can capture the essence of love and the power it holds over us.

The poem begins with the speaker expressing his love for poetry. He describes it as a "mistress" who has captured his heart and soul. The use of the word "mistress" is significant as it suggests a passionate and intense relationship, one that is not easily broken. The speaker's love for poetry is all-consuming, and he cannot imagine a life without it.

Calverley's use of language is particularly striking in this poem. He employs a range of poetic devices, including alliteration, rhyme, and repetition, to create a musical and rhythmic flow. For example, the repetition of the word "love" in the first stanza emphasizes the speaker's intense feelings and sets the tone for the rest of the poem.

The second stanza of the poem is particularly powerful. Here, the speaker describes how poetry has the power to transport him to another world, one that is filled with beauty and wonder. He says that poetry can "lift me from the common earth" and take him to a place where he can forget his troubles and be at peace. This is a sentiment that many of us can relate to. Poetry has the ability to transport us to another realm, one that is free from the constraints of everyday life.

The third stanza of the poem is perhaps the most poignant. Here, the speaker acknowledges that his love for poetry is not always reciprocated. He says that poetry can be "cold and coy" and that it sometimes refuses to reveal its secrets to him. This is a reminder that love is not always easy, and that we must be patient and persistent if we want to truly understand and appreciate it.

The final stanza of the poem is a beautiful conclusion to this ode to poetry. Here, the speaker says that even though poetry can be elusive and difficult to understand, he will continue to love it. He says that he will "cling to thee with love's strong grasp" and that he will never let go. This is a powerful statement of devotion and commitment, one that speaks to the enduring power of love.

In conclusion, Charles Stuart Calverley's Poetry Love is a beautiful and moving tribute to the power of poetry and the love it inspires. Through his use of language and poetic devices, Calverley captures the essence of love and the way it can transport us to another realm. This poem is a reminder that love is not always easy, but that it is worth pursuing with all our hearts. If you have ever felt a deep connection to poetry, then this poem is sure to resonate with you.

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