Stanza 1: A courtesan is watching a poison-maker make her a poison to kill her ex-lover and his new
NOW that I, tying thy glass mask tightly,
May gaze thro' these faint smokes curling whitely,
As thou pliest thy trade in this devil's-smithy-Which is the poison to poison her, prithee?
Stanza 2: She is disgusted that she knows that he is with her and that they KNOW she KNOWS about it.
They think she is church crying but she isn’t, she is organizing her murderous revenge.
He is with her; and they know that I know
Where they are, what they do: they believe my tears flow
While they laugh, laugh at me, at me fled to the drear
Empty church, to pray God in, for them! -- I am here.
CD H 24/4/13 19:02
Comment : Caesura after “I” emphasises
her isolation and rejection
CD H 24/4/13 19:03
Comment : Repetition of “poison”
emphasises her excitement at the murder she
intends to commit
CD H 24/4/13 19:04
Comment : Alliteration of “p”s sounds
like panting – suggesting her sexual
excitement at the possibility of killing him
CD H 24/4/13 19:07
Comment : Monosyllabic
CD H 24/4/13 19:07
Comment : Repetition of “laugh”
suggests her motive is embarrassment.
CD H 24/4/13 19:10
Comment : Punctuation breaks up
“them” and “I” which represents her physical
Stanza 3: She describes the making of the poison in a fairly sexual manner
Grind away, moisten and mash up thy paste,
Pound at thy powder, -- I am not in haste!
Better sit thus, and observe thy strange things,
Than go where men wait me and dance at the King's.
CD H 24/4/13 19:12
Comment : Grind, moisten, pound all
sexual innuendos suggesting that she is turned
on by the revenge she is plotting - psychotic
CD H 24/4/13 19:13
Comment : Alliteration of moisten and
mash up – the ms sound like moaning and the
ps in “pound” and “powder” sound like
panting emphasising the sexual innuendos
Stanza 4: Still describes the poison as...