For those fond of intertextual references, 'Ave atque Vale' by Algernon Charles Swinburne, an English poet's lament for the French poet Charles Baudelaire, is something of a goldmine, being absolutely overflowing with references and allusions to classical mythology and legend. Most of these can be decoded with a little bit of research, but two have still eluded my intellectual grasp. I will detail one of these here, and leave the other one below it as a bonus question.
The sixth verse of this rather long poem goes like this:
Now all strange hours and all strange loves are over,
Dreams and desires and sombre songs and sweet,
Hast thou found place at the great knees and feet
Of some pale Titan-woman like a lover,
Such as thy vision here solicited,
Under the shadow of her fair vast head,
The deep division of prodigious breasts,
The solemn slope of mighty limbs asleep,
The weight of awful tresses that still keep
The savour and shade of old-world pine-forests
Where the wet hill-winds weep?
Who is this 'pale Titan-woman'? I understand that there were twelve Titans, six pairs of brother-sister spouses, mirroring the better-known twelve Olympians, but none of the six Titanesses really fits Swinburne's description. My best guess is that, although the Titans were really only part of Greek mythology, the Romans used to identify the Titaness Rhea with their goddess Magna Mater, and Swinburne further identified Magna Mater with a more recent conception of Mother Earth. Thus the dead French poet, having been buried, has in a sense 'found place at the great knees and feet' of Mother Earth. Can anyone confirm that hypothesis?
Bonus question: Who or what is 'our God' in Swinburne's 'Ave atque Vale'?