D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence.

Love poems and others online

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Online LibraryD. H. (David Herbert) LawrenceLove poems and others → online text (page 1 of 3)
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Several of these Poems have
appeared in the '•''English
Review^' the " Nation^' and
the " Westminster Gazetted



Wedding Morn .

Kisses in the Train

Cruelty and Love

Cherry Robbers

Lilies in the Fire

Coldness in Love

End of another Home-Holiday


Bex Hennef


Song-Day in Autumn


A Pang of Reminiscence

A White Blossom

Red Moon-Rise .

Return .

The Appeal




Morning Work .
Michael- Angelo






















Violets ....... xlii.

Whether or Not . . . . . xliv.

A Collier's Wife ..... liii.

The Drained Cup ..... Ivi.


I. A Snowy Day in School .... lix.

IL The Best of School . . . . Ix.

HL Afternoon in School .... Ixiii.


The morning breaks like a pomegranate

In a shining crack of red,
Ah, when to-morrow the dawn comes late

Whitening across the bed,
It will find me watching at the marriage gate

And waiting while light is shed
On him who is sleeping satiate.

With a sunk, abandoned head.

And when the dawn comes creeping in,

Cautiously I shall raise
Myself to watch the morning win

My first of days,
As it shows him sleeping a sleep he got

Of me, as under my gaze,
He grows distinct, and I see his hot

Face freed of the wavering blaze.

Then I shall know which image of God

My man is made toward.
And I shall know my bitter rod

Or my rich reward.
And I shall know the stamp and worth

Of the coin I've accepted as mine.
Shall see an image of heaven or of earth

On his minted metal shine.

Yea and I long to see him sleep
In my power utterly,

I long to know what I have to keep,

I long to see
My love, that spinning coin, laid still

And plain at the side of me,
For me to count — for I know he will

Greatly enrichen me.

And then he will be mine, he will lie

In my power utterly.
Opening his value plain to my eye

He will sleep of me.
He will lie negligent, resign

His all to me, and I
Shall watch the dawn light up for me

This sleeping wealth of mine.

And I shall watch the wan light shine

On his sleep that is filled of me,
On his brow where the wisps of fond hair twine

So truthfully,
On his lips where the light breaths come and go

Naive and winsomely,
On his limbs that I shall weep to know

Lie under my mastery.



I SAW the midlands

Revolve through her hair ;
The fields of autumn

Stretching bare,
And sheep on the pasture

Tossed back in a scare.

And still as ever

The world went round,
My mouth on her pulsing

Neck was found,
And my breast to her beating

Breast was bound.

But my heart at the centre

Of all, in a swound
Was still as a pivot,

As all the ground
On its prowling orbit

Shifted round.

And still in my nostrils

The scent of her flesh,
And still my wet mouth

Sought her afresh ;
And still one pulse

Through the world did thresh.

And the world all whirling
Around in joy


Like the dance of a dervish

Did destroy
My sense — and my reason

Spun like a toy.

But firm at the centre
My heart was found ;

Her own to my perfect
Heart-beat bound,

Like a magnet's keeper
Closing the round.



What large, dark hands are those at the window
Lifted, grasping the golden light
Which weaves its way through the creeper leaves
To my heart's delight ?

Ah, only the leaves ! But in the west,
In the west I see a redness come
Over the evening's burning breast —

— 'Tis the wound of love goes home !

The woodbine creeps abroad
Calling low to her lover :

The sun-lit flirt who all the day

Has poised above her lips in play

And stolen kisses, shallow and gay

Of pollen, now has gone away

— She woos the moth with her sweet, low word.
And when above her his broad wings hover
Then her bright breast she will uncover
And yield her honey-drop to her lover.

Into the yellow, evening glow
Saunters a man from the farm below,
Leans, and looks in at the low-built shed
Where hangs the swallow's marriage bed.
The bird lies warm against the wall.
She glances quick her startled eyes
Towards him, then she turns away
Her small head, making warm display
Of red upon the throat. His terrors sway

Her out of the nest's warm, busy ball,
Whose plaintive cry is heard as she flies
In one blue stoop from out the sties
Into the evening's empty hall.

Oh, water-hen, beside the rushes

Hide your quaint, unfading blushes,

Still your quick tail, and lie as dead,

Till the distance folds over his ominous tread.

The rabbit presses back her ears.
Turns back her liquid, anguished eyes
And crouches low : then with wild spring
Spurts from the terror of his oncoming
To be choked back, the wire ring
Her frantic effort throttling :

Piteous brown ball of quivering fears !

Ah soon in his large, hard hands she dies.
And swings all loose to the swing of his walk.
Yet calm and kindly are his eyes
And ready to open in brown surprise
Should I not answer to his talk
Or should he my tears surmise.

I hear his hand on the latch, and rise from my chair

Watching the door open : he flashes bare

His strong teeth in a smile, and flashes his eyes

In a smile like triumph upon me ; then careless-wise

He flings the rabbit soft on the table board

And comes towards me : ah, the uplifted sword


Of his hand against my bosom, and oh, the broad

Blade of his hand that raises my face to applaud

His coming : he raises up my face to him

And caresses my mouth with his fingers, which still

smell grim

Of the rabbit s fur ! God, I am caught in a snare !

I know not what fine wire is round my throat,

I only know I let him finger there

My pulse of life, letting him nose like a stoat

Who sniffs with joy before he drinks the blood :

And down his mouth comes to my mouth, and down

His dark bright eyes descend like a fiery hood

Upon my mind : his mouth meets mine, and a flood

Of sweet fire sweeps across me, so I drown

Within him, die, and find death good.



Under the long, dark boughs, like jewels red

In the hair of an Eastern girl
Shine strings of crimson cherries, as if had bled

Blood-drops beneath each curl.

Under the glistening cherries, with folded wings

Three dead birds lie :
Pale-breasted throstles and a blackbird, robberlings

Stained with red dye.

Under the haystack a girl stands laughing at me,
With cherries hung round her ears —

Offering me her scarlet fruit : I will see
If she has any tears.




Ah, you stack of white lilies, all white and gold,
I am adrift as a sunbeam, and without form
Or having, save I light on you to warm
Your pallor into radiance, flush your cold

White beauty into incandescence : you

Are not a stack of white lilies to-night, but a white

And clustered star transfigured by me to-night,

And lighting these ruddy leaves like a star dropped


The slender bare arms of the branches, your tire-maidens
Who lift swart arms to fend me off ; but I come
Like a wind of fire upon you, like to some
Stray whitebeam who on you his fire unladens.

And you are a glistening toadstool shining here
Among the crumpled beech-leaves phosphorescent,
My stack of white lilies burning incandescent
Of me, a soft white star among the leaves, my dear.


Is it with pain, my dear, that you shudder so ?
Is it because I have hurt you with pain, my dear?

Did I shiver ? — Nay, truly I did not know —

A dewdrop may-be splashed on my face down here.

Why even now you speak through close-shut teeth.
I have been too much for you — Ah, I remember !


The ground is a little chilly underneath

The leaves — and, dear, you consume me all to an


You hold yourself all hard as if my kisses
Hurt as I gave them — you put me away —

Ah never I put you away : yet each kiss hisses
Hot as a drop of fire wastes me away.


I am ashamed, you wanted me not to-night —

Nay, it is always so, you sigh with me.

Your radiance dims when I draw too near, and my free

Fire enters your petals like death, you wilt dead white.

Ah, I do know, and I am deep ashamed ;

You love me while I hover tenderly

Like clinging sunbeams kissing you : but see

When I close in fire upon you, and you are flamed

With the swiftest fire of my love, you are destroyed.
'Tis a degradation deep to me, that my best
Soul's whitest lightning which should bright attest
God stepping down to earth in one white stride,

Means only to you a clogged, numb burden of flesh
Heavy to bear, even heavy to uprear
Again from earth, like lilies wilted and sere
Flagged on the floor, that before stood up so fresh.


And you remember, in the afternoon

The sea and the sky went grey, as if there had sunk

A flocculent dust on the floor of the world : the festoon

Of the sky sagged dusty as spider cloth,

And coldness clogged the sea, till it ceased to croon.

A dank, sickening scent came up from the grime
Of weed that blackened the shore, so that I recoiled
Feeling the raw cold dun me : and all the time
You leapt about on the slippery rocks, and threw
The words that rang with a brassy, shallow chime.

And all day long that raw and ancient cold

Deadened me through, till the grey downs darkened to


Then I longed for you with your mantle of love to fold

Me over, and drive from out of my body the deep

Cold that had sunk to my soul, and there kept hold.

But still to me all evening long you were cold,

And I was numb with a bitter, deathly ache ;

Till old days drew me back into their fold.

And dim sheep crowded me warm with companionship.

And old ghosts clustered me close, and sleep was cajoled.

I slept till dawn at the window blew in like dust,
Like the linty, raw-cold dust disturbed from the floor
Of a disused room : a grey pale light like must
That settled upon my face and hands till it seemed
To flourish there, as pale mould blooms on a crust.


Then I rose in fear, needing you fearfully,

For I thought you were warm as a sudden jet of blood.

I thought I could plunge in your spurting hotness, and be

Clean of the cold and the must. — With my hand on the


I heard you in your sleep speak strangely to me.

And I dared not enter, feeling suddenly dismayed.

So I went and washed my deadened flesh in the sea

And came back tingling clean, but worn and frayed

With cold, like the shell of the moon: and strange it


That my love has dawned in rose again, like the love of

a maid.




When shall I see the half moon sink again

Behind the black sycamore at the end of the garden ?

When will the scent of the dim, white phlox

Creep up the wall to me, and in at my open window ?

Why is it, the long slow stroke of the midnight bell,

(Will it never finish the twelve?)
Falls again and again on my heart with a heavy reproach ?

The moon-mist is over the village, out of the mist speaks
the bell,

And all the little roofs of the village bow low, pitiful,
beseeching, resigned :

Oh, little home, what is it I have not done well ?

Ah home, suddenly I love you,

As I hear the sharp clean trot of a pony down the road,
Succeeding sharp little sounds dropping into the silence.
Clear upon the long-drawn hoarseness of a train across
the valley.

The light has gone out from under my mother's door.
That she should love me so,
She, so lonely, greying now.
And I leaving her.
Bent on my pursuits !

Love is the great Asker,

The sun and the rain do not ask the secret


Of the time when the grain struggles down in the


The moon walks her lonely way without anguish,

Because no loved one grieves over her departure.


Forever, ever by my shoulder pitiful Love will linger.
Crouching as little houses crouch under the mist when I

Forever, out of the mist the church lifts up her reproach-
ful finger,

Pointing my eyes in wretched defiance where love hides
her fg^ce to mourn.

Oh but the rain creeps down to wet the grain
That struggles alone in the dark,

And asking nothing, cheerfully steals back again !
The moon sets forth o' nights
To walk the lonely, dusky heights
Serenely, with steps unswerving ;
Pursued by no sigh of bereavement.
No tears of love unnerving
Her constant tread :

While ever at my side.

Frail and sad, with grey bowed head.
The beggar-woman, the yearning-eyed
Inexorable love goes lagging.

The wild young heifer, glancing distraught,
With a strange new knocking of life at her side

Runs seeking a loneliness.
The little grain draws down the earth to hide,

Nay, even the slumberous egg, as it labours under the

Patiently to divide, and self-divide,
Asks to be hidden, and wishes nothing to tell.

But when I draw the scanty cloak of silence over my eyes,
Piteous Love comes peering under the hood.
Touches the clasp with trembling fingers, and tries
To put her ear to the painful sob of my blood.
While her tears soak through to my breast,
Where they burn and cauterise.


The moon lies back and reddens.
In the valley, a corncrake calls

With a piteous, unalterable plaint, that deadens

My confident activity :
With a hoarse, insistent request that falls

Unweariedly, unweariedly,

Asking something more of me.
Yet more of me !



Do you remember
How night after night swept level and low
Overhead, at home, and had not one star,
Nor one narrow gate for the moon to go

Forth to her field of November.

And you remember,
How towards the north a red blot on the sky
Burns like a blotch of anxiety
Over the forges, and small flames ply

Like ghosts the shadow of the ember.

Those were the days
When it was awful autumn to me,
When only there glowed on the dark of the sky
The red reflection of her agony,

My beloved smelting down in the blaze

Of death — my dearest
Love who had borne, and was now leaving me.
And I at the foot of her cross did suffer

My own gethsemane.

So I came to you,
And twice, after great kisses, I saw
The rim of the moon divinely rise
And strive to detach herself from the raw

Blackened edge of the skies,

Strive to escape ;
With her whiteness revealing my sunken world
Tall and loftily shadowed. But the moon
Never magnolia-like unfurled

Her white, her lamp-like shape.

For you told me no,
And bade me not to ask for the dour
Communion, offering — "a better thing."
So I lay on your breast for an obscure hour

Feeling your fingers go

Like a rhythmic breeze
Over my hair, and tracing my brows,
Till I knew you not from a little wind :
— I wonder now if God allows

Us only one moment his keys.

If only then
You could have unlocked the moon on the night,
And I baptized myself in the light
Of your love ; we both have entered then the white

Pure passion, and never again.

I wonder if only
You had taken me then, how different
Life would have been : should I have spent
Myself in waste, and you have bent

Your pride, through being lonely ?



The little river twittering in the twilight,
The wan, wondering look of the pale sky.
This is almost bliss.

And everything shut up and gone to sleep,
All the troubles and anxieties and pain
Gone under the twilight.

Only the twilight now, and the soft " Sh ! " of the river
That will last for ever.

And at last I know my love for you is here,
I can see it all, it is whole like the twilight.
It is large, so large, I could not see it before
Because of the little lights and flickers and interruptions,
Troubles, anxieties and pains.

You are the call and I am the answer.
You are the wish, and I the fulfilment.
You are the night, and I the day.

What else — it is perfect enough,

It is perfectly complete,

You and I,

What more ?

Strange, how we suffer in spite of this !



I FELT the lurch and halt of her heart

Next my breast, where my own heart was beating ;
And I laughed to feel it plunge and bound,
And strange in my blood-swept ears was the sound

Of the words I kept repeating,
Repeating with tightened arms, and the hot blood's blind-
fold art.

Her breath flew warm against my neck,

Warm as a flame in the close night air ;

And the sense of her clinging flesh was sweet

Where her arms and my neck's blood-surge could meet.
Holding her thus, did I care

That the black night hid her from me, blotted out every

speck ?

I leaned me forward to find her lips,

And claim her utterly in a kiss,
When the lightning flew across her face.
And I saw her for the flaring space

Of a second, afraid of the clips
Of my arms, inert with dread, wilted in fear of my kiss.

A moment, like a wavering spark,

Her face lay there before my breast,
Pale love lost in a snow of fear,
And guarded by a glittering tear,

And lips apart with dumb cries ;
A moment, and she was taken again in the merciful


I heard the thunder, and felt the rain,

And my arms fell loose, and I was dumb.

Almost I hated her, she was so good,

Hated myself, and the place, and my blood,

Which burned with rage, as I bade her come

Home, away home, ere the lightning floated forth again.



When the autumn roses

Are heavy with dew,
Before the mist discloses

The leafs brown hue,
You would, among the laughing hills

Of yesterday
Walk innocent in the daffodils,
Coiffing up your auburn hair
In a puritan fillet, a chaste white snare
To catch and keep me with you there

So far away.

When from the autumn roses

Trickles the dew.
When the blue mist uncloses

And the sun looks through,
You from those startled hills

Come away,
Out of the withering daffodils ;
Thoughtful, and half afraid,
Plaiting a heavy, auburn braid
And coiling it round the wise brows of a maid

Who was scared in her play.

When in the autumn roses

Creeps a bee.
And a trembling flower encloses

His ecstasy.
You from your lonely walk

Turn away,


And leaning to me like a flower on its stalk,
Wait among the beeches
For your late bee who beseeches
To creep through your loosened hair till he reaches,
Your heart of dismay.



Slowly the moon is rising out of the ruddy haze,

Divesting herself of her golden shift, and so

Emerging white and exquisite ; and I in amaze

See in the sky before me, a woman I did not know

I loved, but there she goes and her beauty hurts my


I follow her down the night, begging her not to depart.



High and smaller goes the moon, she is small and very

far from me,

Wistful and candid, watching me wistfully, and I see

Trembling blue in her pallor a tear that surely I have

seen before,

A tear which I had hoped that even hell held not again

in store.



A TINY moon as white and small as a single jasmine


Leans all alone above my window, on night's wintry


Liquid as lime-tree blossom, soft as brilliant water or


She shines, the one white love of my youth, which all

sin cannot stain.



The train in running across the weald has fallen into a

steadier stroke

So even, it beats like silence, and sky and earth in one


Embrace of darkness lie around, and crushed between

them all the loose

And littered lettering of leaves and hills and houses

closed, and we can use

The open book of landscape no more, for the covers of

darkness have shut upon

Its written pages, and sky and earth and all between

are closed in one.

And we are smothered between the darkness, we close
our eyes and say *' Hush ! " we try

To escape in sleep the terror of this immense deep
darkness, and we lie

Wrapped up for sleep. And then, dear God, from out
of the twofold darkness, red

As if from the womb the moon arises, as if the twin-
walled darkness had bled

In one great spasm of birth and given us this new, red

Which lies on the knees of the darkness bloody, and
makes us hide our eyes.

The train beats frantic in haste, and struggles away
From this ruddy terror of birth that has slid down
From out of the loins of night to flame our way
With fear ; but God, I am glad, so glad that I drown

My terror with joy of confirmation, for now

Lies God all red before me, and I am glad,

As the Magi were when they saw the rosy brow

Of the Infant bless their constant folly which had

Brought them thither to God : for now I know

That the Womb is a great red passion whence rises all

The shapeliness that decks us here-below :

Yea like the fire that boils within this ball

Of earth, and quickens all herself with flowers,

God burns within the stiffened clay of us ;

And every flash of thought that we and ours

Send up to heaven, and every movement, does

Fly like a spark from this God-fire of passion ;

And pain of birth, and joy of the begetting,

And sweat of labour, and the meanest fashion

Of fretting or of gladness, but the jetting

Of a trail of the great fire against the sky

Where we can see it, a jet from the innerm.ost fire :

And even in the watery shells that lie

Alive within the oozy under-mire,

A grain of this same fire I can descry.

And then within the screaming birds that fly
Across the lightning when the storm leaps higher ;
And then the swirling, flaming folk that try
To come like fire-flames at their fierce desire,
They are as earth's dread, spurting flames that ply
Awhile and gush forth death and therr expire.
And though it be love's wet blue eyes that cry
To hot love to relinquish its desire,
Still in their depths I see the same red spark
As rose to-night upon us from the dark.



Now I am come again, you who have so desired

My coming, why do you look away from me ?

Why does your cheek burn against me — have I inspired

Such anger as sets your mouth unwontedly ?

Ah, here I sit while you break the music beneath

Your bow ; for broken it is, and hurting to hear :

Cease then from music — does anguish of absence


Me only aloofness when I would draw near ?



You, Helen, who see the stars
As mistletoe berries burning in a black tree,
You surely, seeing I am a bowl of kisses,
Should put your mouth to mine and drink of me.

Helen, you let my kisses steam
Wasteful into the night's black nostrils ; drink
Me up I pray ; oh you who are Night's Bacchante,
How can you from my bowl of kisses shrink !



The last, silk-floating thought has gone from the dande-
lion stem,

And the flesh of the stalk holds up for nothing a blank

The night's flood-winds have lifted my last desire from


And my hollow flesh stands up in the night abandonedly.

As I stand on this hill, with the whitening cave of the
city beyond,

Helen, I am despoiled of my pride, and my soul turns
fond :

Overhead the nightly heavens like an open, immense eye,

Like a cat's distended pupil sparkles with sudden stars.

As with thoughts that flash and crackle in uncouth


They glitter at me, and I fear the fierce snapping of

night's thought-stars.

Beyond me, up the darkness, goes the gush of the lights

of two towns,

As the breath which rushes upwards from the nostrils of

an immense

Life crouched across the globe, ready, if need be, to


Across the space upon heaven's high hostile eminence.


All round me, but far away, the night's twin conscious-
ness roars

With sounds that endlessly swell and sink like the storm
of thought in the brain.

Lifting and falling like slow breaths taken, pulsing like
Immense that beat the blood of the night down its vein.

The night is immense and awful, Helen, and I am insect


In the fur of this hill, clung on to the fur of shaggy, black


A palpitant speck in the fur of the night, and afraid of


Seeing the world and the sky like creatures hostile


And I in the fur of the world, and you a pale fleck from

the sky,

How we hate each other to-night, hate, you and I,

As the world of activity hates the dream that goes on on

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Online LibraryD. H. (David Herbert) LawrenceLove poems and others → online text (page 1 of 3)