Pleasure in taking pains
Verbal masochism is not without its gains.
If poets and poetasters failed to take pains,
their words might not convey what they’d intended
but only what they’d pretended.
However, inspiration and effort combined
can put the dewdrop on the columbine.
“There is a pleasure in poetic pains”
— by William Wordsworth
“There is a pleasure in poetic pains
Which only Poets know”;
—’twas rightly said;
Whom could the Muses else allure to tread
Their smoothest paths, to wear their lightest chains?
When happiest Fancy has inspired the strains,
How oft the malice of one luckless word
Pursues the Enthusiast to the social board,
Haunts him belated on the silent plains!
Yet he repines not, if his thought stand clear,
At last, of hindrance and obscurity,
Fresh as the star that crowns the brow of morn;
Bright, speckless, as a softly-moulded tear
The moment it has left the virgin’s eye,
Or rain-drop lingering on the pointed thorn.