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A Child's Garden of Verses (1885)
Robert Louis Stevenson

The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,

Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,

Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,

Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner:

CST Approved

Fragonard’s The Swing is a rather famous painting of a woman being pushed on a swing, in the middle of a garden her pink skirt flowing in the air and her shoe being kicked off..

The Swing was petitioned by a French aristocrat, who needed something for his cabinet. (A Cabinet painting was usually something equivalent to pornography). Most Cabinet paintings contained nude, or semi nude women. The swing is different. The swing’s main component was intrigue.

You see, the woman on the swing is the aristocrat’s mistress. The man pushing the swing is a bishop, and the man hiding in the bushes is none other than the patron himself.

The fear of getting caught was somewhat of a turn on for him, which is thought to be why he wanted her shoe to be kicked off. When the shoe falls off, who is to go find it, but the bishop, walking right in the direction of the patron, who is positioned quite strategically, looking directly up her skirt (added bonus for him, French women did not wear underwear at the time).

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