Amores, p.1D. H. Lawrence
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Author: D. H. Lawrence
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***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK AMORES***
E-text prepared by Lewis Jones
D. H. Lawrence (1916) _Amores_
D. H. LAWRENCE
B. W. Huebsch
Copyright, 1916, by
D. H. Lawrence
TO HER NOBLE
AND INDEPENDENT SYMPATHY
AND HER GENEROUS UNDERSTANDING
ARE GRATEFULLY DEDICATED
The Wild Common
Discord in Childhood
Monologue of a Mother
In a Boat
A Winter's Tale
A Baby Running Barefoot
Scent of Irises
Last Words to Miriam
Ballad of Another Ophelia
A Baby Asleep After Pain
The Virgin Mother
At the Window
Dolor of Autumn
Lotus Hurt by the Cold
Troth with the Dead
The Enkindled Spring
The Hands of the Betrothed
A Spiritual Woman
A Love Song
Brother and Sister
After Many Days
A Passing Bell
In Trouble and Shame
Firelight and Nightfall
The Mystic Blue
I WILL give you all my keys,
You shall be my chatelaine,
You shall enter as you please,
As you please shall go again.
When I hear you jingling through
All the chambers of my soul,
How I sit and laugh at you
In your vain housekeeping role.
Jealous of the smallest cover,
Angry at the simplest door;
Well, you anxious, inquisitive lover,
Are you pleased with what's in store?
You have fingered all my treasures,
Have you not, most curiously,
Handled all my tools and measures
And masculine machinery?
Over every single beauty
You have had your little rapture;
You have slain, as was your duty,
Every sin-mouse you could capture.
Still you are not satisfied,
Still you tremble faint reproach;
Challenge me I keep aside
Secrets that you may not broach.
Maybe yes, and maybe no,
Maybe there _are_ secret places,
Altars barbarous below,
Elsewhere halls of high disgraces.
Maybe yes, and maybe no,
You may have it as you please,
Since I choose to keep you so,
Suppliant on your curious knees.
THE WILD COMMON
THE quick sparks on the gorse bushes are leaping,
Little jets of sunlight-texture imitating flame;
Above them, exultant, the pee-wits are sweeping:
They are lords of the desolate wastes of sadness
their screamings proclaim.
Rabbits, handfuls of brown earth, lie
Low-rounded on the mournful grass they have bitten
down to the quick.
Are they asleep?--Are they alive?--Now see,
Move my arms the hill bursts and heaves under their
The common flaunts bravely; but below, from the
Crowds of glittering king-cups surge to challenge the
There the lazy streamlet pushes
Its curious course mildly; here it wakes again, leaps,
laughs, and gushes.
Into a deep pond, an old sheep-dip,
Dark, overgrown with willows, cool, with the brook
ebbing through so slow,
Naked on the steep, soft lip
Of the bank I stand watching my own white shadow
quivering to and fro.
What if the gorse flowers shrivelled and kissing were
Without the pulsing waters, where were the marigolds
and the songs of the brook?
If my veins and my breasts with love embossed
Withered, my insolent soul would be gone like flowers
that the hot wind took.
So my soul like a passionate woman turns,
Filled with remorseful terror to the man she scorned,
and her love
For myself in my own eyes' laughter burns,
Runs ecstatic over the pliant folds rippling down to
my belly from the breast-lights above.
Over my sunlit skin the warm, clinging air,
Rich with the songs of seven larks singing at once,
goes kissing me glad.
And the soul of the wind and my blood compare
Their wandering happiness, and the wind, wasted in
liberty, drifts on and is sad.
Oh but the water loves me and folds me,
Plays with me, sways me, lifts me and sinks me as
though it were living blood,
Blood of a heaving woman who holds me,
Owning my supple body a rare glad thing, supremely
SOMEWHERE the long mellow note of the blackbird
Quickens the unclasping hands of hazel,
Somewhere the wind-flowers fling their heads back,
Stirred by an impetuous wind. Some ways'll
All be sweet with white and blue violet.
(_Hush now, hush. Where am I?--Biuret--_)
On the green wood's edge a shy girl hovers
From out of the hazel-screen on to the grass,
Where wheeling and screaming the petulant plovers
Oh the sunset swims in her eyes' swift pool.
(_Work, work, you fool--!_)
Somewhere the lamp hanging low from the ceiling
Lights the soft hair of a girl as she reads,
And the red firelight steadily wheeling
Weaves the hard hands of my friend in sleep.
And the white dog snuffs the warmth, appealing
For the man to heed lest the girl shall weep.
(_Tears and dreams for them; for me
Bitter science--the exams. are near.
I wish I bore it more patiently.
I wish you did not wait, my dear,
For me to come: since work I must:
Though it's all the same when we are dead.--
I wish I was only a bust,
DISCORD IN CHILDHOOD
OUTSIDE the house an ash-tree hung its terrible
And at night when the wind arose, the lash of the tree
Shrieked and slashed the wind, as a ship's
Weird rigging in a storm shrieks hideously.
Within the house two voices arose in anger, a slender
Whistling delirious rage, and the dreadful sound
Of a thick lash booming and bruising, until it
The other voice in a silence of blood, 'neath the noise
of the ash.
Now and again
All my body springs alive,
And the life that is polarised in my eyes,
That quivers between my eyes and mouth,
Flies like a wild thing across my body,
Leaving my eyes half-empty, and clamorous,
Filling my still breasts with a flush and a flame,
Gathering the soft ripples below my breasts
Into urgent, passionate waves,
And my soft, slumbering belly
Quivering awake with one impulse of desire,
Gathers itself fiercely together;
And my docile, fluent arms
Knotting themselves with wild strength
To clasp what they have never clasped.
Then I tremble, and go trembling
Under the wild, strange tyranny of my body,
Till it has spent itself,
And the relentless nodality of my eyes reasserts itself,
Till the bursten flood of life ebbs back to my eyes,
Back from my beautiful, lonely body
Tired and unsatisfied.
MONOLOGUE OF A MOTHER
THIS is the last of all, this is the last!
I must hold my hands, and turn my face to the fire,
I must watch my dead days fusing together in dross,
Shape after shape, and scene after scene from my past
Fusing to one dead mass in the sinking fire
Where the ash on the dying coals grows swiftly, like
Strange he is, my son, whom I have awaited like a
Strange to me like a captive in a foreign country,
The confines and gazing out on the land where the
wind is free;
White and gaunt, with wistful eyes that hover
Always on the distance, as if his soul were chaunting
The monotonous weird of departure away from me.
Like a strange white bird blown out of the frozen
Like a bird from the far north blown with a broken
Into our sooty garden, he drags and beats
From place to place perpetually, seeking release
From me, from the hand of my love which creeps up,
His happiness, whilst he in displeasure retreats.
I must look away from him, for my faded eyes
Like a cringing dog at his heels offend him now,
Like a toothless hound pursuing him with my will,
Till he chafes at my crouching persistence, and a
sharp spark flies
In my soul from under the sudden frown of his brow,
As he blenches and turns away, and my heart stands
This is the last, it will not be any more.
All my life I have borne the burden of myself,
All the long years of sitting in my husband's house,
Never have I said to myself as he closed the door:
"Now I am caught!--You are hopelessly lost, O
You are frightened with joy, my heart, like a
Three times have I offered myself, three times rejected.
It will not be any more. No more, my son, my son!
Never to know the glad freedom of obedience, since
The angel of childhood kissed me and went. I expected
Another would take me,--and now, my son, O my son,
I must sit awhile and wait, and never know
The loss of myself, till death comes, who cannot fail.
Death, in whose service is nothing of gladness, takes
For the lips and the eyes of God are behind a veil.
And the thought of the lipless voice of the Father
With fear, and fills my eyes with the tears of desire,
And my heart rebels with anguish as night draws
IN A BOAT
SEE the stars, love,
In the water much clearer and brighter
Than those above us, and whiter,
Star-shadows shine, love,
How many stars in your bowl?
How many shadows in your soul,
Only mine, love, mine?
When I move the oars, love,
See how the stars are tossed,
Distorted, the brightest lost.
--So that bright one of yours, love.
The poor waters spill
The stars, waters broken, forsaken.
--The heavens are not shaken, you say, love,
Its stars stand still.
There, did you see
That spark fly up at us; even
Stars are not safe in heaven.
--What of yours, then, love, yours?
What then, love, if soon
Your light be tossed over a wave?
Will you count the darkness a grave,
And swoon, love, swoon?
THE five old bells
Are hurrying and eagerly calling,
They know, but clamorously falling
Into gabbling incoherence, never resting,
Like spattering showers from a bursten sky-rocket
In splashes of sound, endlessly, never stopping.
The silver moon
That somebody has spun so high
To settle the question, yes or no, has caught
In the net of the night's balloon,
And sits with a smooth bland smile up there in
Smiling at naught,
Unless the winking star that keeps her company
Makes little jests at the bells' insanity,
As if _he_ knew aught!
The patient Night
Sits indifferent, hugged in her rags,
She neither knows nor cares
Why the old church sobs and brags;
The light distresses her eyes, and tears
Her old blue cloak, as she crouches and covers her
Smiling, perhaps, if we knew it, at the bells' loud
Drop their leaves with a faint, sharp hiss of contempt,
While a car at the end of the street goes by with a
As by degrees
The poor bells cease, and the Night is exempt,
And the stars can chaff
The ironic moon at their ease, while the dim old
Is peopled with shadows and sounds and ghosts that
In its cenotaph.
Carry into your room the blossoming boughs of
Almond and apple and pear diffuse with light, that
Soon strews itself on the floor; and keep the radiance
Fresh quivering; keep the sunny-swift March-days
In a little throng at your door, and admit the one
who is plaiting
Her hair for womanhood, and play awhile with her,
then bid her depart.
A come and go of March-day loves
Through the flower-vine, trailing screen;
A fluttering in of doves.
Then a launch abroad of shrinking doves
Over the waste where no hope is seen
Of open hands:
Dance in and out
Small-bosomed girls of the spring of love,
With a bubble of laughter, and shrilly shout
Of mirth; then the dripping of tears on your
DREAMS OLD AND NASCENT
I HAVE opened the window to warm my hands on the
Where the sunlight soaks in the stone: the afternoon
Is full of dreams, my love, the boys are all still
In a wistful dream of Lorna Doone.
The clink of the shunting engines is sharp and fine,
Like savage music striking far off, and there
On the great, uplifted blue palace, lights stir and
Where the glass is domed in the blue, soft air.
There lies the world, my darling, full of wonder and
wistfulness and strange
Recognition and greetings of half-acquaint things, as
I greet the cloud
Of blue palace aloft there, among misty indefinite
dreams that range
At the back of my life's horizon, where the dreamings
of past lives crowd.
Over the nearness of Norwood Hill, through the
Of the afternoon glows to me the old romance of
David and Dora,
With the old, sweet, soothing tears, and laughter
that shakes the sail
Of the ship of the soul over seas where dreamed
dreams lure the unoceaned explorer.
All the bygone, hushed years
Streaming back where the mist distils
Into forgetfulness: soft-sailing waters where fears
No longer shake, where the silk sail fills
With an unfelt breeze that ebbs over the seas, where
Of living has passed, on and on
Through the coloured iridescence that swims in the
Wake of the tumult now spent and gone,
Drifts my boat, wistfully lapsing after
The mists of vanishing tears and the echo of laughter.
DREAMS OLD AND NASCENT
MY world is a painted fresco, where coloured shapes
Of old, ineffectual lives linger blurred and warm;
An endless tapestry the past has woven drapes
The halls of my life, compelling my soul to conform.
The surface of dreams is broken,
The picture of the past is shaken and scattered.
Fluent, active figures of men pass along the railway,
and I am woken
From the dreams that the distance flattered.
Along the railway, active figures of men.
They have a secret that stirs in their limbs as they
Out of the distance, nearer, commanding my dreamy
Here in the subtle, rounded flesh
Beats the active ecstasy.
In the sudden lifting my eyes, it is clearer,
The fascination of the quick, restless Creator moving
through the mesh
Of men, vibrating in ecstasy through the rounded
Oh my boys, bending over your books,
In you is trembling and fusing
The creation of a new-patterned dream, dream of a
And I watch to see the Creator, the power that
patterns the dream.
The old dreams are beautiful, beloved, soft-toned,
But the dream-stuff is molten and moving mysteriously,
Alluring my eyes; for I, am I not also dream-stuff,
Am I not quickening, diffusing myself in the pattern,
shaping and shapen?
Here in my class is the answer for the great yearning:
Eyes where I can watch the swim of old dreams
reflected on the molten metal of dreams,
Watch the stir which is rhythmic and moves them
all as a heart-beat moves the blood,
Here in the swelling flesh the great activity working,
Visible there in the change of eyes and the mobile
Oh the great mystery and fascination of the unseen
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