two short pieces for children

Sexual abuse of words – like the ‘moaning’ of a willow in the wind – will lay even the highest Shakespearean song low, as the clown in his third line tried to tell all the time. Indeed making this cryptic message some kind of crossword. In another context it is allready shown that scanning the partsongs for crossreferences is not really a stiff job. And where the clown demonstrates his capability to sing low, this has to be taken literally: the next lines will demasque O Mistress Mine as downright porn.

But because in that genre it is all the same whether one knocks, sings, comes or dies, Sweet Day has to be placed behind the same decoder, it is no ‘Reduced Virtue’ for nothing. And realising what exactly links them, it is evident what the predicted intercourse between SD and OMM really involves. Bars 23 to 35 of RVW’s first song are on these lines:

A box where sweets compacted lie,
My music shows ye have your closes,
And all must die.

Which, after bedtime-for-small-children, represent the poetic view on:

A room where sweethearts lie on top of each other,
My music reveals your secrets,
           And all must ‘die’.

Calling this bars 23 to 35 is a little devious, I should have mentioned the average instead, because OMM is written in 29 bars. And who stays with them to the bitter end (of the cycle), now hears the sweethearts die on music, that by its dynamic signs on the five notes of ‘coming’ (short crescendo, followed by a long decrescendo) fully explains why George Herbert never bothered about finding a composer to his music:

O(oooh)(…) your true love’s coHOhohoming

As in TWS this reverses chronology (have another look at the dates in the prelude now): The ‘mistress’ being absent, the ‘true love’ is in this line evidently telling he can cope without her. But it is only in the second sextet – porn is what porn does – that he invites a young lady to come with him.

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