"'If you were King of Pleasure,' she said, 'and I were Queen of Pain ...'"
'Le rêve d'un flagellant'
Public Domain'Le rêve d'un flagellant' - Credit: Georges Topfer, Wikimedia Commons
This is a reversal of a couplet from the poem A Match by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909):


If you were queen of pleasure,

And I were king of pain,

We'd hunt down love together,

Pluck out his flying-feather

And teach his feet a measure,

And find his mouth a rein,

If you were queen of pleasure

And I were king of pain.

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In this context, the words have a strongly sadomasochistic tone, and indeed it is known that Swinburne was an algolagniac (someone who derives sexual pleasure from the experience of physical pain).