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D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence.

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C. K. OGDEN



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L2./



AMORES



POEMS



BY



D. H. LAWRENCE




LONDON

and COMTANT
3 HENRIETTA STREET, W.C.



TO

OTTOLINE MORRELL



CONTENTS

PACK

TEASE ...... I

THE WILD COMMON . . . 4

STUDY ...... 7

DISCORD IN CHILDHOOD .... 9

VIRGIN YOUTH . . . . IO

MONOLOGUE OF A MOTHER . . . . 12

IN A BOAT . . . . . .l6

WEEK-NIGHT SERVICE . . . 1 8

DISAGREEABLE ADVICE . . . .21

DREAMS OLD ..... 23

DREAMS NASCENT ..... 26

A WINTER'S TALE . . . . .30

EPILOGUE ...... 31

A BABY RUNNING BAREFOOT 33

DISCIPLINE ...... 34

SCENT OF IRISES ..... 38

THE PROPHET . . . . .4!

LAST WORDS TO MIRIAM .... 42

MYSTERY ...... 45

V



AMORES



PATIENCE . . . . 48

BALLAD OF ANOTHER OPHELIA ... 49

RESTLESSNESS ..... 52

A BABY ASLEEP AFTER PAIN ... 56

ANXIETY ...... 57

THE PUNISHER ..... 58

THE END ...... 60

THE BRIDE ...... 62

THE VIRGIN MOTHER .... 63

AT THE WINDOW ..... 66

DRUNK ...... 68

SORROW ...... 73

DOLOR OF AUTUMN ..... 74

THE INHERITANCE ..... 76

SILENCE ...... 79

LISTENING . . . . . .8l

BROODING GRIEF ..... 83

LOTUS HURT BY THE COLD .... 84

MALADE ...... 86

LIAISON ...... 88

TROTH WITH THE DEAD .... 90

DISSOLUTE . . . . . .92

vi



CONTENTS



PAGE

SUBMERGENCE ..... 93

THE ENKINDLED SPRING .... 94

REPROACH ...... 95

THE HANDS OF THE BETROTHED ... 97

EXCURSION ...... IOI

PERFIDY ...... IO4

A SPIRITUAL WOMAN . . . 106

MATING ...... IO8

A LOVE SONG . i . . .Ill

BROTHER AND SISTER . . . I 13

AFTER MANY DAYS . . . . Il6

BLUE . . . . . .Il8

SNAP-DRAGON . . . . . 122

A PASSING-BELL . . . . .130

IN TROUBLE AND SHAME . . . .132

ELEGY ...... 133

GREY EVENING . . . . .134

FIRELIGHT AND NIGHTFALL . . .136

THE MYSTIC BLUE . . . . J 37



Vll



TEASE

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 ?

A I



AMORES



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.



TEASE



Maybe yes, and maybe no,
You may have it as you please,

Since I choose to keep you so,
Suppliant on your curious knees.



AMORES



THE WILD COMMON

THE quick sparks on the gorse bushes are leaping.
Little jets of sunlight-texture imitating flame ;
Above them, exultant, the peewits 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, when I
Move my arms the hill bursts and heaves under their

spurting kick.

The common flaunts bravely; but below, from the

rushes
Crowds of glittering king-cups surge to challenge the

blossoming bushes ;

4



THE WILD COMMON



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

lost ?
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.

S



AMORES



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

good.

6



STUDY



STUDY

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 '11
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
Wave frighted. Who comes ? A labourer, alas !
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,

7



AMORES



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 9 s all the same when we are dead.
/ wish I was only a bust,
All head.)



DISCORD IN CHILDHOOD



DISCORD IN CHILDHOOD

OUTSIDE the house an ash-tree hung its terrible whips,
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

lash

Whistling delirious rage, and the dreadful sound
Of a thick lash booming and bruising, until it drowned
The other voice in a silence of blood, 'neath the noise

of the ash.



AMORES



VIRGIN YOUTH

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

10



VIRGIN YOUTH



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.



II



AMORES



MONOLOGUE OF A MOTHER

THIS is the last of all, this is the last !
I must fold 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
heavy moss.

Strange he is, my son, whom I have awaited like a lover,
Strange to me like a captive in a foreign country,

haunting
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.

12



MONOLOGUE OF A MOTHER



Like a strange white bird blown out of the frozen

seas,
Like a bird from the far north blown with a broken

wing

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,

needing
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

still.

13



AMORES



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 :
c Now I am caught ! You are hopelessly lost, O

Self,
You are frightened with joy, my heart, like a frightened



mouse.'



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
long ago

The angel of childhood kissed me and went. I ex-
pected

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.

H



MONOLOGUE OF A MOTHER



Death, in whose service is nothing of gladness, takes me;
For the lips and the eyes of God are behind a veil.
And the thought of the lipless voice of the Father

shakes me

With fear, and fills my eyes with the tears of desire,
And my heart rebels with anguish as night draws

nigher.



AMORES



IN A BOAT

SEE the stars, love,

In the water much clearer and brighter
Than those above us, and whiter,
Like nenuphars.

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.
16



IN A BOAT



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 ?



AMORES



WEEK-NIGHT SERVICE

THE five old bells

Are hurrying and eagerly calling,

Imploring, protesting

They know, but clamorously falling

Into gabbling incoherence, never resting,

Like spattering showers from a bursten sky-rocket

dropping
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 ic
the sky

18



WEEK-NIGHT SERVICE



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 face,
Smiling, perhaps, if we knew it, at the bells' loud
clattering disgrace.

The wise old trees

Drop their leaves with a faint, sharp hiss of contempt,

While a car at the end of the street goes by with a laugh;

As by degrees

The poor bells cease, and the Night is exempt,

'9



AMORES



And the stars can chaff

The ironic moon at their ease, while the dim old

church
Is peopled with shadows and sounds and ghosts that

lurch
In its cenotaph.



20



DISAGREEABLE ADVICE



DISAGREEABLE ADVICE

ALWAYS, sweetheart,

Carry into your room the blossoming boughs of cherry,

Almond and apple and pear diffuse with light, that

very
Soon strews itself on the floor ; and keep the radiance

of spring
Fresh quivering ; keep the sunny-swift March-days

waiting
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.

21



AMORES



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
glove.



22



DREAMS OLD AND NASCENT



DREAMS OLD AND NASCENT

OLD

I HAVE opened the window to warm my hands on the

sill

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 shine
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

23



AMORES



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

mellow veil
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

24



DREAMS OLD AND NASCENT



With an unfelt breeze that ebbs over the seas, where

the storm

Of living has passed, on and on
Through the coloured iridescence that swims in the

warm

Wake of the tumult now spent and gone,
Drifts my boat, wistfully lapsing after
The mists of vanishing tears and the echo of laughter.



AMORES



DREAMS OLD AND NASCENT

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 move
Out of the distance, nearer, commanding my dreamy
world.

26



DREAMS OLD AND NASCENT



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

flesh.

Oh my boys, bending over your books,

In you is trembling and fusing

The creation of a new-patterned dream, dream of a

generation :
And I watch to see the Creator, the power that

patterns the dream.

The old dreams are beautiful, beloved, soft-toned,

and sure,

But the dream-stuff is molten and moving mysteriously,

27



AMORES



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 re-
flected 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 features .

Oh the great mystery and fascination of the unseen

Shaper,
The power of the melting, fusing Force heat, light,

all in one,
Everything great and mysterious in one, swelling and

shaping the dream in the flesh,
As it swells and shapes a bud into blossom.

28



DREAMS OLD AND NASCENT



Oh the terrible ecstasy of the consciousness that I

am life !

Oh the miracle of the whole, the widespread, labour-
ing concentration
Swelling mankind like one bud to bring forth the fruit

of a dream,
Oh the terror of lifting the innermost I out of the

sweep of the impulse of life,
And watching the great Thing labouring through the

whole round flesh of the world ;
And striving to catch a glimpse of the shape of the

coming dream,

As it quickens within the labouring, white-hot metal,
Catch the scent and the colour of the coming dream,
Then to fall back exhausted into the unconscious,

molten life !



29



AMORES



A WINTER'S TALE

YESTERDAY the fields were only grey with scattered

snow,

And now the longest grass-leaves hardly emerge ;
Yet her deep footsteps mark the snow, and go
On towards the pines at the hills' white verge.

I cannot see her, since the mist's white scarf
Obscures the dark wood and the dull orange sky ;
But she 's waiting, I know, impatient and cold, half
Sobs struggling into her frosty sigh.

Why does she come so promptly, when she must know
That she 's only the nearer to the inevitable farewell ;
The hill is steep, on the snow my steps are slow
Why does she come, when she knows what I have to
tell?

30



EPILOGUE



EPILOGUE

PATIENCE, little Heart.

One day a heavy, June-hot woman

Will enter and shut the door to stay.

And when your stifling heart would summon

Cool, lonely night, her roused breasts will keep the
night at bay,

Sitting in your room like two tiger-lilies

Flaming on after sunset,

Destroying the cool, lonely night with the glow of
their hot twilight ;

There in the morning, still, while the fierce strange
scent comes yet

Stronger, hot and red ; till you thirst for the daffo-
dillies



AMORES



With an anguished, husky thirst that you cannot

assuage,
When the daffodillies are dead, and a woman of the

dog-days holds you in gage.
Patience, little Heart.



32



A BABY RUNNING BAREFOOT



A BABY RUNNING BAREFOOT

WHEN the bare feet of the baby beat across the grass
The little white feet nod like white flowers in the

wind,
They poise and run like ripples lapping across the

water ;

And the sight of their white play among the grass
Is like a little robin's song, winsome,
Or as two white butterflies settle in the cup of one

flower
For a moment, then away with a flutter of wings.

I long for the baby to wander hither to me
Like a wind-shadow wandering over the water,
So that she can stand on my knee
With her little bare feet in my hands,
Cool like syringa buds,

Firm and silken like pink young peony flowers.
c 33



AMORES



DISCIPLINE

IT is stormy, and raindrops cling like silver bees to

the pane,
The thin sycamores in the playground are swinging

with flattened leaves ;
The heads of the boys move dimly through a yellow

gloom that stains
The class ; over them all the dark net of my discipline

weaves.

It is no good, dear, gentleness and forbearance, I

endured too long.
I have pushed my hands in the dark soil, under the

flower of my soul
And the gentle leaves, and have felt where the roots

are strong
Fixed in the darkness, grappling for the deep soil's

little control.

34



DISCIPLINE



And there in the dark, my darling, where the roots

are entangled and fight
Each one for its hold on the oblivious darkness, I know

that there
In the night where we first have being, before we rise

on the light,
We are not brothers, my darling, we fight and

we do not spare.



And in the original dark the roots cannot keep, cannot

know
Any communion whatever, but they bind themselves

on to the dark,
And drawing the darkness together, crush from it a

twilight, a slow
Burning that breaks at last into leaves and a flower's

bright spark.

35



AMORES



I came to the boys with love, my dear, but they

turned on me ;
I came with gentleness, with my heart 'twixt my

hands like a bowl,
Like a loving-cup, like a grail, but they spilt it

triumphantly
And tried to break the vessel, and to violate my

soul.



But what have I to do with the boys, deep down in

my soul, my love ?
I throw from out of the darkness my self like a flower

into sight,
Like a flower from out of the night-time, I lift my

face, and those
Who will may warm their hands at me, comfort this

night.

36



DISCIPLINE



But whosoever would pluck apart my flowering shall

burn their hands,

So flowers are tender folk, and roots can only hide,
Yet my flowerings of love are a fire, and the scarlet

brands
Of my love are roses to look at, but flames to chide.

But comfort me, my love, now the fires are low,
Now I am broken to earth like a winter destroyed,

and all
Myself but a knowledge of roots, of roots in the dark

that throw
A net on the undersoil, which lies passive beneath

their thrall.

But comfort me, for henceforth my love is yours alone,
To you alone will I offer the bowl, to you will I give
My essence only ; but love me, and I will atone
To you for my general loving, atone as long as I live.

37



AMORES



SCENT OF IRISES

A FAINT, sickening scent of irises
Persists all morning. Here in a jar on the table
A fine proud spike of purple irises
Rising above the class-room litter, makes me unable
To see the class's lifted and bended faces
Save in a broken pattern, amid purple and gold and
sable.

I can smell the gorgeous bog-end, in its breathless

Dazzle of may-blobs, when the marigold glare over-
cast you

With fire on your cheeks and your brow and your
chin as you dipped

Your face in the marigold bunch, to touch and con-
trast you,



SCENT OF IRISES



Your own dark mouth with the bridal faint lady-
smocks,

Dissolved on the golden sorcery you should not
outlast.

You amid the bog-end's yellow incantation,
You sitting in the cowslips of the meadow above,
Me, your shadow on the bog-flame, flowery may-blobs,
Me full length in the cowslips, muttering you love ;
You, your soul like a lady-smock, lost, evanescent,
You with your face all rich, like the sheen of a
dove.

You are always asking, do I remember, remember
The buttercup bog-end where the flowers rose up
And kindled you over deep with a cast of gold ?
You ask again, do the healing days close up
The open darkness which then drew us in,
The dark which then drank up our brimming cup.

39



AMORES



You upon the dry, dead beech-leaves, in the fire

of night

Burnt like a sacrifice ; you invisible ;
Only the fire of darkness, and the scent of you !
And yes, thank God, it still is possible,
The healing days shall close the darkness up
Wherein we fainted like a smoke or dew.

Like vapour, dew, or poison. Now, thank God,
The fire of night is gone, and your face is ash,
Indistinguishable on the grey, chill day ;
The night has burnt us out, at last the good
Dark fire burns on untroubled, without clash
Of you upon the dead leaves saying me Yea.



40



THE PROPHET



THE PROPHET

AH, my darling, when over the purple horizon shall

loom
The shrouded mother of a new idea, men hide their

faces,
Cry out and fend her off, as she seeks her procreant

groom,
Wounding themselves against her, denying her fecund

embraces.



AMORES



LAST WORDS TO MIRIAM

YOURS is the shame and sorrow,

But the disgrace is mine ;
Your love was dark and thorough,
Mine was the love of the sun for a flower

He creates with his shine.

I was diligent to explore you,

Blossom you stalk by stalk,
Till my fire of creation bore you
Shrivelling down in the final dour

Anguish then I suffered a balk.

I knew your pain, and it broke

My fine, craftsman's nerve ;
Your body quailed at my stroke,
And my courage failed to give you the last

Fine torture you did deserve.
42



LAST WORDS TO MIRIAM



You are shapely, you are adorned,

But opaque and dull in the flesh,
Who, had I but pierced with the thorned
Fire-threshing anguish, were fused and cast
In a lovely illumined mesh.

Like a painted window : the best
Suffering burnt through your flesh,

Undressed it and left it blest

With a quivering sweet wisdom of grace

but now
Who shall take you afresh ?

Now who will burn you free

From your body's terrors and dross,

Since the fire has failed in me ?

What man will stoop in your flesh to plough
The shrieking cross ?
43



AMORES



A mute, nearly beautiful thing


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