"Rhyme [is] no necessary Adjunct or true Ornament of Poem or good Verse[...] but the Invention of a barbarous Age, to set off wretched matter and lame Meter[.]"
- John Milton
He'd been at it for hours.
"Abject," unfortunately, had never been Miles' strong point. "Wretched," periodically, as his plans fell through; "penitent," when appropriate; "wracked with guilt," whenever he woke in the night from the old dreams. "Abject", though, carried with it not just guilt and penitence, but risk. Baring yourself completely was a hard thing to do when "being rejected" had always been so easy to come by.
What's worse, he was running out of ideas. "Abject" by itself, even, was all well and good, but Miles couldn't shake the feeling that he needed something more to draw Ekaterin back than just his wretchedness. A stratagem was what he wanted, despite the chance of running too close to his earlier mistakes, and at this point, if glittery paper would have lent sparkle to his confessions, he'd be using it. In lieu of that, verbal sparkle would have to do.
Women were impressed by poetry. It was a standard rule-- even Enrique knew as much, and god forbid he should fail to try something potentially helpful at this point. The only verse at which he'd ever shown any aptitude, though, was limerick. He'd never really wished before that his persuasive skills extended to rhyme and meter.
Still-- what was one more draft, in the face of doing this right?
The apologies owed you are many--
Drafts I've now written, more'n twenty--
But if you could see
Poor wretched me,
You'd know that my heart's aching plenty.
Not the most auspicious start, maybe, but honest.
When you ran away out the door,
I wanted to stop you, but swore
That I would be fair--
Not go anywhere
To find you to say, "I adore..."
For the truth, though unspoken, is plain:
I am but a poor lovesick swain.
My proposal's pathetic-
Mimetic. Diuretic. Peripatetic. Ascetic.
My proposal's pathetic
My motives were real,
I meant not to steal
Any feeling from you I might gain.
I feared any honesty'd screw me.
And, feeling my chances were gloomy,
I set out a lure:
I knew you were poor,
So offered the garden that doomed me.
But love's not a ship for the taking,
Reluctance not a blockade for breaking--
I mixed love and war.
You'll see (even more,
Now) my stupidity's of my own making.
If his homemade stupidity wasn't painfully obvious to her after she read this, he'd be worried.
My love would have been like a present
To give you, to-
"Pleasant" wasn't an option. Writing this had rapidly deteriorated from "pleasant"; careening between abject and artificial for the sake of meter wasn' t what he'd intended. Poetry-- or limerick, at least-- wasn't showing his good intentions, his sincerity. It would've been a long sight easier to demonstrate that by rescuing Ekaterin from some comically exaggerated fate. Clumsy, stupid villains in ski masks, perhaps. Daring rescues, his specialty.
But then, he'd fallen in love with her when she rescued herself. When she'd done it, in fact, with the same poise and wit that he always hoped for (and rarely managed) on his own. If tragedy or tragicomedy struck again, he didn't want her to wait for him to free herself. She'd waited too long for an excuse the first time around.
He owed her his soul on the page, not limericks. Time for one more draft.