'Sweet William' is one of seven poems from The Darkening Ecliptic that was cited during the Angry Penguins obscenity trial. The trial was conducted in Adelaide in September 1944. Although the poem can be understood to contain allusions to rape, Max Harris testifed that the poem's intent was to depict a man 'at conflict with himself, without reference to anything else beside his mental condition'.
(Source for Harris' testimony: The Ern Malley Affair by Michael Heyward. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1993)