If, like me, you like Victorian art, you should probably read Victorian poetry. The two were hopelessly intertwined. It was commonplace for painters to seek out inspiration in the work of poets, and vice versa. If you are an illiterate boor, the deeper meaning of Victorian paintings will always elude you. That English Lit class served me well in contextualizing Victorian art. It also taught me how inbred the art scene was back then. For instance, you may know Christina Rossetti, whom I sometimes call Christina Ricci, as the extraordinarily talented sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and who during her lifetime was regarded as the best living woman poet. If you don't, she did in fact model for him several times, so you know her face even if you never knew she existed, making you complicit in the Victorian ideal that a woman be seen and not heard. Oh snap.
Below is a original illustration from the poem, which I found recently after finishing the painting. It illustrates my favourite part of the poem: "Golden head by golden head/Like two pigeons in one nest/Folded in each other’s wings..." Lily and Laura sleep side by side, one tormented by nightmares of freaky green people, the other protective.