The Project Gutenberg eBook of Look! We Have Come Through!, by D. H. Lawrence
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Title: Look! We Have Come Through!
Author: D. H. Lawrence
Release Date: November 7, 2007 [eBook #23394]
[Most recently updated: October 28, 2023]
Language: English
Produced by: Lewis Jones


By D. H. Lawrence

Chatto & Windus: London, MCMXVII

Some of these poems have appeared in the "English Review" and in "Poetry," also in the "Georgian Anthology" and the "Imagist Anthology"





















































THESE poems should not be considered separately, as so many single pieces. They are intended as an essential story, or history, or confession, unfolding one from the other in organic development, the whole revealing the intrinsic experience of a man during the crisis of manhood, when he marries and comes into himself. The period covered is, roughly, the sixth lustre of a man's life


After much struggling and loss in love and in the world of man, the protagonist throws in his lot with a woman who is already married. Together they go into another country, she perforce leaving her children behind. The conflict of love and hate goes on between the man and the woman, and between these two and the world around them, till it reaches some sort of conclusion, they transcend into some condition of blessedness


                   AND who has seen the moon, who has not seen
                   Her rise from out the chamber of the deep,
                   Flushed and grand and naked, as from the chamber
                   Of finished bridegroom, seen her rise and throw
                   Confession of delight upon the wave,
                   Littering the waves with her own superscription
                   Of bliss, till all her lambent beauty shakes towards
                   Spread out and known at last, and we are sure
                   That beauty is a thing beyond the grave,
                   That perfect, bright experience never falls
                   To nothingness, and time will dim the moon
                   Sooner than our full consummation here
                   In this odd life will tarnish or pass away.


     THE sun immense and rosy
     Must have sunk and become extinct
     The night you closed your eyes for ever against me.

     Grey days, and wan, dree dawnings
     Since then, with fritter of flowers—
     Day wearies me with its ostentation and fawnings.

     Still, you left me the nights,
     The great dark glittery window,
     The bubble hemming this empty existence with

     Still in the vast hollow
     Like a breath in a bubble spinning
     Brushing the stars, goes my soul, that skims the
        bounds like a swallow!

     I can look through
     The film of the bubble night, to where you are.
     Through the film I can almost touch you.



     THE stars that open and shut
     Fall on my shallow breast
     Like stars on a pool.

     The soft wind, blowing cool
     Laps little crest after crest
     Of ripples across my breast.

     And dark grass under my feet
     Seems to dabble in me
     Like grass in a brook.

     Oh, and it is sweet
     To be all these things, not to be
     Any more myself.

     For look,
     I am weary of myself!


     AH God, life, law, so many names you keep,
     You great, you patient Effort, and you Sleep
     That does inform this various dream of living,
     You sleep stretched out for ever, ever giving
     Us out as dreams, you august Sleep
     Coursed round by rhythmic movement of all

     The constellations, your great heart, the sun
     Fierily pulsing, unable to refrain;
     Since you, vast, outstretched, wordless Sleep
     Permit of no beyond, ah you, whose dreams
     We are, and body of sleep, let it never be said
     I quailed at my appointed function, turned poltroon

     For when at night, from out the full surcharge
     Of a day's experience, sleep does slowly draw
     The harvest, the spent action to itself;
     Leaves me unburdened to begin again;
     At night, I say, when I am gone in sleep,
     Does my slow heart rebel, do my dead hands
     Complain of what the day has had them do?

     Never let it be said I was poltroon
     At this my task of living, this my dream,
     This me which rises from the dark of sleep
     In white flesh robed to drape another dream,
     As lightning comes all white and trembling
     From out the cloud of sleep, looks round about
     One moment, sees, and swift its dream is over,
     In one rich drip it sinks to another sleep,
     And sleep thereby is one more dream enrichened.

     If so the Vast, the God, the Sleep that still grows
     Have said that I, this mote in the body of sleep
     Must in my transiency pass all through pain,
     Must be a dream of grief, must like a crude
     Dull meteorite flash only into light
     When tearing through the anguish of this life,
     Still in full flight extinct, shall I then turn
     Poltroon, and beg the silent, outspread God
     To alter my one speck of doom, when round me
     The whole great conflagration of all life,
     Lapped like a body close upon a sleep,
     Hiding and covering in the eternal Sleep
     Within the immense and toilsome life-time,
     With ache of dreams that body forth the Sleep?

     Shall I, less than the least red grain of flesh
     Within my body, cry out to the dreaming soul
     That slowly labours in a vast travail,
     To halt the heart, divert the streaming flow
     That carries moons along, and spare the stress
     That crushes me to an unseen atom of fire?

     When pain and all
     And grief are but the same last wonder, Sleep
     Rising to dream in me a small keen dream
     Of sudden anguish, sudden over and spent—



     IT is Isis the mystery
     Must be in love with me.

     Here this round ball of earth
     Where all the mountains sit
     Solemn in groups,
     And the bright rivers flit
     Round them for girth.

     Here the trees and troops
     Darken the shining grass,
     And many people pass
     Plundered from heaven,
     Many bright people pass,
     Plunder from heaven.

     What of the mistresses
     What the beloved seven?
     —They were but witnesses,
     I was just driven.

     Where is there peace for me?
     Isis the mystery
     Must be in love with me.


     You, you are all unloving, loveless, you;
     Restless and lonely, shaken by your own moods,
     You are celibate and single, scorning a comrade even,
     Threshing your own passions with no woman for
        the threshing-floor,
     Finishing your dreams for your own sake only,
     Playing your great game around the world, alone,
     Without playmate, or helpmate, having no one to
     No one to comfort, and refusing any comforter.

     Not like the earth, the spouse all full of increase
     Moiled over with the rearing of her many-mouthed
     You are single, you are fruitless, phosphorescent,
        cold and callous,
     Naked of worship, of love or of adornment,
     Scorning the panacea even of labour,
     Sworn to a high and splendid purposelessness
     Of brooding and delighting in the secret of life's
     Sea, only you are free, sophisticated.

     You who toil not, you who spin not,
     Surely but for you and your like, toiling
     Were not worth while, nor spinning worth the

     You who take the moon as in a sieve, and sift
     Her flake by flake and spread her meaning out;
     You who roll the stars like jewels in your palm,
     So that they seem to utter themselves aloud;
     You who steep from out the days their colour,
     Reveal the universal tint that dyes
     Their web; who shadow the sun's great gestures
        and expressions
     So that he seems a stranger in his passing;
     Who voice the dumb night fittingly;
     Sea, you shadow of all things, now mock us to
        death with your shadowing.



     MY love lies underground
     With her face upturned to mine,
     And her mouth unclosed in a last long kiss
     That ended her life and mine.

     I dance at the Christmas party
     Under the mistletoe
     Along with a ripe, slack country lass
     Jostling to and fro.

     The big, soft country lass,
     Like a loose sheaf of wheat
     Slipped through my arms on the threshing floor
     At my feet.

     The warm, soft country lass,
     Sweet as an armful of wheat
     At threshing-time broken, was broken
     For me, and ah, it was sweet!

     Now I am going home
     Fulfilled and alone,
     I see the great Orion standing
     Looking down.

     He's the star of my first beloved
     The witness of all that bitter-sweet

     Now he sees this as well,
     This last commission.
     Nor do I get any look
     Of admonition.

     He can add the reckoning up
     I suppose, between now and then,
     Having walked himself in the thorny, difficult
     Ways of men.

     He has done as I have done
     No doubt:
     Remembered and forgotten
     Turn and about.

     My love lies underground
     With her face upturned to mine,
     And her mouth unclosed in the last long kiss
     That ended her life and mine.

     She fares in the stark immortal
     Fields of death;
     I in these goodly, frozen
     Fields beneath.

     Something in me remembers
     And will not forget.
     The stream of my life in the darkness
     Deathward set!

     And something in me has forgotten,
     Has ceased to care.
     Desire comes up, and contentment
     Is debonair.

     I, who am worn and careful,
     How much do I care?
     How is it I grin then, and chuckle
     Over despair?

     Grief, grief, I suppose and sufficient
     Grief makes us free
     To be faithless and faithful together
     As we have to be.


                 FIRST PART

     UPON her plodding palfrey
     With a heavy child at her breast
     And Joseph holding the bridle
     They mount to the last hill-crest.

     Dissatisfied and weary
     She sees the blade of the sea
     Dividing earth and heaven
     In a glitter of ecstasy.

     Sudden a dark-faced stranger
     With his back to the sun, holds out
     His arms; so she lights from her palfrey
     And turns her round about.

     She has given the child to Joseph,
     Gone down to the flashing shore;
     And Joseph, shading his eyes with his hand,
     Stands watching evermore.

                 SECOND PART

     THE sea in the stones is singing,
     A woman binds her hair
     With yellow, frail sea-poppies,
     That shine as her fingers stir.

     While a naked man comes swiftly
     Like a spurt of white foam rent
     From the crest of a falling breaker,
     Over the poppies sent.

     He puts his surf-wet fingers
     Over her startled eyes,
     And asks if she sees the land, the land,
     The land of her glad surmise.

                 THIRD PART

     AGAIN in her blue, blue mantle
     Riding at Joseph's side,
     She says, "I went to Cythera,
     And woe betide!"

     Her heart is a swinging cradle
     That holds the perfect child,
     But the shade on her forehead ill becomes
     A mother mild.

     So on with the slow, mean journey
     In the pride of humility;
     Till they halt at a cliff on the edge of the land
     Over a sullen sea.

     While Joseph pitches the sleep-tent
     She goes far down to the shore
     To where a man in a heaving boat
     Waits with a lifted oar.

                 FOURTH PART

     THEY dwelt in a huge, hoarse sea-cave
     And looked far down the dark
     Where an archway torn and glittering
     Shone like a huge sea-spark.

     He said: "Do you see the spirits
     Crowding the bright doorway?"
     He said: "Do you hear them whispering?"
     He said: "Do you catch what they say?"

                 FIFTH PART

     THEN Joseph, grey with waiting,
     His dark eyes full of pain,
     Heard: "I have been to Patmos;
     Give me the child again."

     Now on with the hopeless journey
     Looking bleak ahead she rode,
     And the man and the child of no more account
     Than the earth the palfrey trode.

     Till a beggar spoke to Joseph,
     But looked into her eyes;
     So she turned, and said to her husband:
     "I give, whoever denies."

                 SIXTH PART

     SHE gave on the open heather
     Beneath bare judgment stars,
     And she dreamed of her children and Joseph,
     And the isles, and her men, and her scars.

     And she woke to distil the berries
     The beggar had gathered at night,
     Whence he drew the curious liquors
     He held in delight.

     He gave her no crown of flowers,
     No child and no palfrey slow,
     Only led her through harsh, hard places
     Where strange winds blow.

     She follows his restless wanderings
     Till night when, by the fire's red stain,
     Her face is bent in the bitter steam
     That comes from the flowers of pain.

     Then merciless and ruthless
     He takes the flame-wild drops
     To the town, and tries to sell them
     With the market-crops.

     So she follows the cruel journey
     That ends not anywhere,
     And dreams, as she stirs the mixing-pot,
     She is brewing hope from despair.



     THE night was a failure
       but why not—?

     In the darkness
        with the pale dawn seething at the window
        through the black frame
        I could not be free,
        not free myself from the past, those others—
        and our love was a confusion,
        there was a horror,
        you recoiled away from me.

     Now, in the morning
     As we sit in the sunshine on the seat by the little
     And look at the mountain-walls,
     Walls of blue shadow,
     And see so near at our feet in the meadow
     Myriads of dandelion pappus
     Bubbles ravelled in the dark green grass
     Held still beneath the sunshine—

     It is enough, you are near—
     The mountains are balanced,
     The dandelion seeds stay half-submerged in the
     You and I together
     We hold them proud and blithe
     On our love.
     They stand upright on our love,
     Everything starts from us,
     We are the source.

     "AND OH—

     No, now I wish the sunshine would stop,
     and the white shining houses, and the gay red
         flowers on the balconies
     and the bluish mountains beyond, would be crushed
     between two valves of darkness;
     the darkness falling, the darkness rising, with
         muffled sound
     obliterating everything.

     I wish that whatever props up the walls of light
     would fall, and darkness would come hurling
         heavily down,
     and it would be thick black dark for ever.
     Not sleep, which is grey with dreams,
     nor death, which quivers with birth,
     but heavy, sealing darkness, silence, all immovable.

     What is sleep?
     It goes over me, like a shadow over a hill,
     but it does not alter me, nor help me.
     And death would ache still, I am sure;
     it would be lambent, uneasy.
     I wish it would be completely dark everywhere,
     inside me, and out, heavily dark



     THE pale bubbles
     The lovely pale-gold bubbles of the globe-flowers
     In a great swarm clotted and single
     Went rolling in the dusk towards the river
     To where the sunset hung its wan gold cloths;
     And you stood alone, watching them go,
     And that mother-love like a demon drew you
        from me
     Towards England.

     Along the road, after nightfall,
     Along the glamorous birch-tree avenue
     Across the river levels
     We went in silence, and you staring to England.

     So then there shone within the jungle darkness
     Of the long, lush under-grass, a glow-worm's
     Green lantern of pure light, a little, intense, fusing
     White and haloed with fire-mist, down in the
        tangled darkness.

     Then you put your hand in mine again, kissed me,
        and we struggled to be together.
     And the little electric flashes went with us, in the
     Tiny lighthouses, little souls of lanterns, courage
        burst into an explosion of green light
     Everywhere down in the grass, where darkness was
        ravelled in darkness.

     Still, the kiss was a touch of bitterness on my mouth
     Like salt, burning in.
     And my hand withered in your hand.
     For you were straining with a wild heart, back,
        back again,
     Back to those children you had left behind, to all
        the æons of the past.
     And I was here in the under-dusk of the Isar.

     At home, we leaned in the bedroom window
     Of the old Bavarian Gasthaus,
     And the frogs in the pool beyond thrilled with
     Like a boiling pot the pond crackled with happiness,
     Like a rattle a child spins round for joy, the night
     With the extravagance of the frogs,
     And you leaned your cheek on mine,
     And I suffered it, wanting to sympathise.

     At last, as you stood, your white gown falling from
        your breasts,
     You looked into my eyes, and said: "But this is
     I acquiesced again.
     But the shadow of lying was in your eyes,
     The mother in you, fierce as a murderess, glaring
        to England,
     Yearning towards England, towards your young
     Insisting upon your motherhood, devastating.

     Still, the joy was there also, you spoke truly,
     The joy was not to be driven off so easily;
     Stronger than fear or destructive mother-love, it
        stood flickering;
     The frogs helped also, whirring away.
     Yet how I have learned to know that look in your
     Of horrid sorrow!
     How I know that glitter of salt, dry, sterile,
        sharp, corrosive salt!
     Not tears, but white sharp brine
     Making hideous your eyes.

     I have seen it, felt it in my mouth, my throat, my
        chest, my belly,
     Burning of powerful salt, burning, eating through
        my defenceless nakedness.
     I have been thrust into white, sharp crystals,
     Writhing, twisting, superpenetrated.

     Ah, Lot's Wife, Lot's Wife!
     The pillar of salt, the whirling, horrible column
        of salt, like a waterspout
     That has enveloped me!
     Snow of salt, white, burning, eating salt
     In which I have writhed.

     Lot's Wife!—Not Wife, but Mother.
     I have learned to curse your motherhood,
     You pillar of salt accursed.
     I have cursed motherhood because of you,
     Accursed, base motherhood!

     I long for the time to come, when the curse against
        you will have gone out of my heart.
     But it has not gone yet.
     Nevertheless, once, the frogs, the globe-flowers of
        Bavaria, the glow-worms
     Gave me sweet lymph against the salt-burns,
     There is a kindness in the very rain.

     Therefore, even in the hour of my deepest, pas-
        sionate malediction
     I try to remember it is also well between us.
     That you are with me in the end.
     That you never look quite back; nine-tenths, ah,
     You look round over your shoulder;
     But never quite back.

     Nevertheless the curse against you is still in my
     Like a deep, deep burn.
     The curse against all mothers.
     All mothers who fortify themselves in motherhood,
        devastating the vision.
     They are accursed, and the curse is not taken off
     It burns within me like a deep, old burn,
     And oh, I wish it was better.



     IN front of the sombre mountains, a faint, lost
        ribbon of rainbow;
     And between us and it, the thunder;
     And down below in the green wheat, the labourers
     Stand like dark stumps, still in the green wheat.

     You are near to me, and your naked feet in their
     And through the scent of the balcony's naked
     I distinguish the scent of your hair: so now the
     Lightning falls from heaven.

     Adown the pale-green glacier river floats
     A dark boat through the gloom—and whither?
     The thunder roars. But still we have each other!
     The naked lightnings in the heavens dither
     And disappear—what have we but each other?
     The boat has gone.



     You have come your way, I have come my way;
     You have stepped across your people, carelessly,
        hurting them all;
     I have stepped across my people, and hurt them
        in spite of my care.

     But steadily, surely, and notwithstanding
     We have come our ways and met at last
     Here in this upper room.

     Here the balcony
     Overhangs the street where the bullock-wagons
     Go by with their loads of green and silver birch-
     For the feast of Corpus Christi.

     Here from the balcony
     We look over the growing wheat, where the jade-
        green river
     Goes between the pine-woods,
     Over and beyond to where the many mountains
     Stand in their blueness, flashing with snow and the

     I have done; a quiver of exultation goes through
        me, like the first
     Breeze of the morning through a narrow white
     You glow at last like the mountain tops when they
     Day and make magic in heaven.

     At last I can throw away world without end, and
        meet you
     Unsheathed and naked and narrow and white;
     At last you can throw immortality off, and I see you
     Glistening with all the moment and all your

     Shameless and callous I love you;
     Out of indifference I love you;
     Out of mockery we dance together,
     Out of the sunshine into the shadow,
     Passing across the shadow into the sunlight,
     Out of sunlight to shadow.

     As we dance
     Your eyes take all of me in as a communication;
     As we dance
     I see you, ah, in full!
     Only to dance together in triumph of being together
     Two white ones, sharp, vindicated,
     Shining and touching,
     Is heaven of our own, sheer with repudiation.


     A BLOTCH of pallor stirs beneath the high
     Square picture-dusk, the window of dark sky.

     A sound subdued in the darkness: tears!
     As if a bird in difficulty up the valley steers.

     "Why have you gone to the window? Why don't
        you sleep?
     How you have wakened me! But why, why do
        you weep?"

     "I am afraid of you, I am afraid, afraid!
     There is something in you destroys me—!"

     "You have dreamed and are not awake, come here
        to me."
     "No, I have wakened. It is you, you are cruel to

     "My dear!"—"Yes, yes, you are cruel to me. You
     A shadow over my breasts that will kill me at last."

     "Come!"—"No, I'm a thing of life. I give
     You armfuls of sunshine, and you won't let me live."

     "Nay, I'm too sleepy!"—"Ah, you are horrible;
     You stand before me like ghosts, like a darkness

     "I!"—"How can you treat me so, and love me?
     My feet have no hold, you take the sky from above me."

     "My dear, the night is soft and eternal, no doubt
     You love it!"—"It is dark, it kills me, I am put out."

     "My dear, when you cross the street in the sun-
        shine, surely
     Your own small night goes with you. Why treat
        it so poorly?"

     "No, no, I dance in the sun, I'm a thing of life—"
     "Even then it is dark behind you. Turn round,
        my wife."

     "No, how cruel you are, you people the sunshine
     With shadows!"—"With yours I people the
     sunshine, yours and mine—"

     "In the darkness we all are gone, we are gone
        with the trees
     And the restless river;—we are lost and gone
        with all these."

     "But I am myself, I have nothing to do with these."
     "Come back to bed, let us sleep on our mys-

     "Come to me here, and lay your body by mine,
     And I will be all the shadow, you the shine.

     "Come, you are cold, the night has frightened you.
     Hark at the river! It pants as it hurries through

     "The pine-woods. How I love them so, in their
        mystery of not-to-be."
     "—But let me be myself, not a river or a tree."

     "Kiss me! How cold you are!—Your little breasts
     Are bubbles of ice. Kiss me!—You know how
        it rests

     "One to be quenched, to be given up, to be gone
        in the dark;
     To be blown out, to let night dowse the spark.

     "But never mind, my love. Nothing matters,
        save sleep;
     Save you, and me, and sleep; all the rest will

     A THICK mist-sheet lies over the broken wheat.
     I walk up to my neck in mist, holding my mouth up.
     Across there, a discoloured moon burns itself out.

     I hold the night in horror;
     I dare not turn round.

     To-night I have left her alone.
     They would have it I have left her for ever.

     Oh my God, how it aches
     Where she is cut off from me!

     Perhaps she will go back to England.
     Perhaps she will go back,
     Perhaps we are parted for ever.

     If I go on walking through the whole breadth of
     I come to the North Sea, or the Baltic.

     Over there is Russia—Austria, Switzerland, France,
          in a circle!
     I here in the undermist on the Bavarian road.

     It aches in me.
     What is England or France, far off,
     But a name she might take?
     I don't mind this continent stretching, the sea far
     It aches in me for her
     Like the agony of limbs cut off and aching;
     Not even longing,
     It is only agony.

     A cripple!
     Oh God, to be mutilated!
     To be a cripple!

     And if I never see her again?

     I think, if they told me so
     I could convulse the heavens with my horror.
     I think I could alter the frame of things in my
     I think I could break the System with my heart.
     I think, in my convulsion, the skies would break.

     She too suffers.
     But who could compel her, if she chose me against
          them all?
     She has not chosen me finally, she suspends her
     Night folk, Tuatha De Danaan, dark Gods, govern
          her sleep,
     Magnificent ghosts of the darkness, carry off her
          decision in sleep,
     Leave her no choice, make her lapse me-ward,
          make her,
     Oh Gods of the living Darkness, powers of Night.



     I HAVE been so innerly proud, and so long alone,
     Do not leave me, or I shall break.
     Do not leave me.

     What should I do if you were gone again
     So soon?
     What should I look for?
     Where should I go?
     What should I be, I myself,
     What would it mean, this

     Do not leave me.

     What should I think of death?
     If I died, it would not be you:
     It would be simply the same
     Lack of you.
     The same want, life or death,
     The same insanity of space
     You not there for me.

     Think, I daren't die
     For fear of the lack in death.
     And I daren't live.

     Unless there were a morphine or a drug.

     I would bear the pain.
     But always, strong, unremitting
     It would make me not me.
     The thing with my body that would go on
     Would not be me.
     Neither life nor death could help.

     Think, I couldn't look towards death
     Nor towards the future:
     Only not look.
     Only myself
     Stand still and bind and blind myself.

     God, that I have no choice!
     That my own fulfilment is up against me
     The burden of self-accomplishment!
     The charge of fulfilment!
     And God, that she is necessary!
     Necessary, and I have no choice!

     Do not leave me.

     THE pain of loving you
     Is almost more than I can bear.

     I walk in fear of you.
     The darkness starts up where
     You stand, and the night comes through
     Your eyes when you look at me.

     Ah never before did I see
     The shadows that live in the sun!

     Now every tall glad tree
     Turns round its back to the sun
     And looks down on the ground, to see
     The shadow it used to shun.

     At the foot of each glowing thing
     A night lies looking up.

     Oh, and I want to sing
     And dance, but I can't lift up
     My eyes from the shadows: dark
     They lie spilt round the cup.

     What is it?—Hark
     The faint fine seethe in the air!

     Like the seething sound in a shell!
     It is death still seething where
     The wild-flower shakes its bell
     And the sky lark twinkles blue—

     The pain of loving you
     Is almost more than I can bear.


     THE dawn was apple-green,
     The sky was green wine held up in the sun,
     The moon was a golden petal between.

     She opened her eyes, and green
     They shone, clear like flowers undone
     For the first time, now for the first time seen.



     BY the Isar, in the twilight
     We were wandering and singing,
     By the Isar, in the evening
     We climbed the huntsman's ladder and sat
     In the fir-tree overlooking the marshes,
     While river met with river, and the ringing
     Of their pale-green glacier water filled the evening.

     By the Isar, in the twilight
     We found the dark wild roses
     Hanging red at the river; and simmering
     Frogs were singing, and over the river closes
     Was savour of ice and of roses; and glimmering
     Fear was abroad. We whispered: "No one
        knows us.
     Let it be as the snake disposes
     Here in this simmering marsh."



     WHEN she rises in the morning
     I linger to watch her;
     She spreads the bath-cloth underneath the window
     And the sunbeams catch her
     Glistening white on the shoulders,
     While down her sides the mellow
     Golden shadow glows as
     She stoops to the sponge, and her swung breasts
     Sway like full-blown yellow
     Gloire de Dijon roses.

     She drips herself with water, and her shoulders
     Glisten as silver, they crumple up
     Like wet and falling roses, and I listen
     For the sluicing of their rain-dishevelled petals.
     In the window full of sunlight
     Concentrates her golden shadow
     Fold on fold, until it glows as
     Mellow as the glory roses.


     JUST a few of the roses we gathered from the Isar
     Are fallen, and their mauve-red petals on the
     Float like boats on a river, while other
     Roses are ready to fall, reluctant and loth.

     She laughs at me across the table, saying
     I am beautiful. I look at the rumpled young roses
     And suddenly realise, in them as in me,
     How lovely the present is that this day discloses.

     I AM myself at last; now I achieve
     My very self. I, with the wonder mellow,
     Full of fine warmth, I issue forth in clear
     And single me, perfected from my fellow.

     Here I am all myself. No rose-bush heaving
     Its limpid sap to culmination, has brought
     Itself more sheer and naked out of the green
     In stark-clear roses, than I to myself am brought.


     I AM here myself; as though this heave of effort
     At starting other life, fulfilled my own:
     Rose-leaves that whirl in colour round a core
     Of seed-specks kindled lately and softly blown

     By all the blood of the rose-bush into being—
     Strange, that the urgent will in me, to set
     My mouth on hers in kisses, and so softly
     To bring together two strange sparks, beget

     Another life from our lives, so should send
     The innermost fire of my own dim soul out-
     And whirling in blossom of flame and being upon
     That my completion of manhood should be the

     Another life from mine! For so it looks.
     The seed is purpose, blossom accident.
     The seed is all in all, the blossom lent
     To crown the triumph of this new descent.

     Is that it, woman? Does it strike you so?
     The Great Breath blowing a tiny seed of fire
     Fans out your petals for excess of flame,
     Till all your being smokes with fine desire?

     Or are we kindled, you and I, to be
     One rose of wonderment upon the tree
     Of perfect life, and is our possible seed
     But the residuum of the ecstasy?

     How will you have it?—the rose is all in all,
     Or the ripe rose-fruits of the luscious fall?
     The sharp begetting, or the child begot?
     Our consummation matters, or does it not?

     To me it seems the seed is just left over
     From the red rose-flowers' fiery transience;
     Just orts and slarts; berries that smoulder in the
     Which burnt just now with marvellous immanence.

     Blossom, my darling, blossom, be a rose
     Of roses unchidden and purposeless; a rose
     For rosiness only, without an ulterior motive;
     For me it is more than enough if the flower un-

     THERE are four men mowing down by the Isar;
     I can hear the swish of the scythe-strokes, four
     Sharp breaths taken: yea, and I
     Am sorry for what's in store.

     The first man out of the four that's mowing
     Is mine, I claim him once and for all;
     Though it's sorry I am, on his young feet, knowing
     None of the trouble he's led to stall.

     As he sees me bringing the dinner, he lifts
     His head as proud as a deer that looks
     Shoulder-deep out of the corn; and wipes
     His scythe-blade bright, unhooks

     The scythe-stone and over the stubble to me.
     Lad, thou hast gotten a child in me,
     Laddie, a man thou'lt ha'e to be,
     Yea, though I'm sorry for thee.


     WHAT pain, to wake and miss you!
       To wake with a tightened heart,
     And mouth reaching forward to kiss you!

     This then at last is the dawn, and the bell
       Clanging at the farm! Such bewilderment
     Comes with the sight of the room, I cannot tell.

     It is raining. Down the half-obscure road
       Four labourers pass with their scythes
     Dejectedly;—a huntsman goes by with his load:

     A gun, and a bunched-up deer, its four little feet
       Clustered dead.—And this is the dawn
     For which I wanted the night to retreat!


     THE house is silent, it is late at night, I am alone.
                    From the balcony
               I can hear the Isar moan,
                    Can see the white
     Rift of the river eerily, between the pines, under
               a sky of stone.

     Some fireflies drift through the middle air
               I wonder where
     Ends this darkness that annihilates me.


     She speaks.
     Look at the little darlings in the corn!
        The rye is taller than you, who think yourself
     So high and mighty: look how the heads are
     Dark and proud on the sky, like a number of
     Passing with spears and pennants and manly scorn.

     Knights indeed!—much knight I know will ride
        With his head held high-serene against the sky!
     Limping and following rather at my side
        Moaning for me to love him!—Oh darling rye
     How I adore you for your simple pride!

     And the dear, dear fireflies wafting in between
        And over the swaying corn-stalks, just above
     All the dark-feathered helmets, like little green
        Stars come low and wandering here for love
     Of these dark knights, shedding their delicate

     I thank you I do, you happy creatures, you dears
        Riding the air, and carrying all the time
     Your little lanterns behind you! Ah, it cheers
        My soul to see you settling and trying to
     The corn-stalks, tipping with fire the spears.

     All over the dim corn's motion, against the blue
        Dark sky of night, a wandering glitter, a
     Of questing brilliant souls going out with their
        Proud knights to battle! Sweet, how I warm
     My poor, my perished soul with the sight of

     As I went through the marshes
     a doe sprang out of the corn
     and flashed up the hill-side
     leaving her fawn.

     On the sky-line
     she moved round to watch,
     she pricked a fine black blotch
     on the sky.

     I looked at her
     and felt her watching;
     I became a strange being.
     Still, I had my right to be there with her,

     Her nimble shadow trotting
     along the sky-line, she
     put back her fine, level-balanced head.
     And I knew her.

     Ah yes, being male, is not my head hard-balanced,
     Are not my haunches light?
     Has she not fled on the same wind with me?
     Does not my fear cover her fear?


     THE space of the world is immense, before me and
        around me;
     If I turn quickly, I am terrified, feeling space
        surround me;
     Like a man in a boat on very clear, deep water,
        space frightens and confounds me.

     I see myself isolated in the universe, and wonder
     What effect I can have. My hands wave under
     The heavens like specks of dust that are floating

     I hold myself up, and feel a big wind blowing
     Me like a gadfly into the dusk, without my know-
     Whither or why or even how I am going.

     So much there is outside me, so infinitely
     Small am I, what matter if minutely
     I beat my way, to be lost immediately?

     How shall I flatter myself that I can do
     Anything in such immensity? I am too
     Little to count in the wind that drifts me through.



     THE big mountains sit still in the afternoon light
        Shadows in their lap;
     The bees roll round in the wild-thyme with de-

     We sitting here among the cranberries
        So still in the gap
     Of rock, distilling our memories

     Are sinners! Strange! The bee that blunders
        Against me goes off with a laugh.
     A squirrel cocks his head on the fence, and

     What about sin?—For, it seems
        The mountains have
     No shadow of us on their snowy forehead of

     As they ought to have. They rise above us
     For ever. One even might think that they love us.

       Little red cranberries cheek to cheek,
        Two great dragon-flies wrestling;
        You, with your forehead nestling
        Against me, and bright peak shining to peak—

     There's a love-song for you!—Ah, if only
        There were no teeming
     Swarms of mankind in the world, and we were
          less lonely!



     OUT of this oubliette between the mountains
     five valleys go, five passes like gates;
     three of them black in shadow, two of them bright
     with distant sunshine;
     and sunshine fills one high valley bed,
     green grass shining, and little white houses
     like quartz crystals,
     little, but distinct a way off.

     Why don't I go?
     Why do I crawl about this pot, this oubliette,
     Why don't I go?

     But where?
     If I come to a pine-wood, I can't say
     Now I am arrived!
     What are so many straight trees to me!


     THE man and the maid go side by side
     With an interval of space between;
     And his hands are awkward and want to hide,
     She braves it out since she must be seen.

     When some one passes he drops his head
     Shading his face in his black felt hat,
     While the hard girl hardens; nothing is said,
     There is nothing to wonder or cavil at.

     Alone on the open road again
     With the mountain snows across the lake
     Flushing the afternoon, they are uncomfortable,
     The loneliness daunts them, their stiff throats

     And he sighs with relief when she parts from him;
     Her proud head held in its black silk scarf
     Gone under the archway, home, he can join
     The men that lounge in a group on the wharf.

     His evening is a flame of wine
     Among the eager, cordial men.
     And she with her women hot and hard
     Moves at her ease again.

      She is marked, she is singled out
           For the fire:
       The brand is upon him, look—you,
           Of desire.

       They are chosen, ah, they are fated
           For the fight!
       Champion her, all you women! Men, menfolk
           Hold him your light!

       Nourish her, train her, harden her
           Women all!
       Fold him, be good to him, cherish him
           Men, ere he fall.

       Women, another champion!
           This, men, is yours!
       Wreathe and enlap and anoint them
           Behind separate doors.



     GREEN star Sirius
     Dribbling over the lake;
     The stars have gone so far on their road,
     Yet we're awake!

     Without a sound
     The new young year comes in
     And is half-way over the lake.
     We must begin

     Again. This love so full
     Of hate has hurt us so,
     We lie side by side
     Moored—but no,

     Let me get up
     And wash quite clean
     Of this hate.—
     So green

     The great star goes!
     I am washed quite clean,
     Quite clean of it all.
     But e'en

     So cold, so cold and clean
     Now the hate is gone!
     It is all no good,
     I am chilled to the bone

     Now the hate is gone;
     There is nothing left;
     I am pure like bone,
     Of all feeling bereft.

     THE yellow sun steps over the mountain-top
     And falters a few short steps across the lake—
     Are you awake?

     See, glittering on the milk-blue, morning lake
     They are laying the golden racing-track of the
     The day has begun.

     The sun is in my eyes, I must get up.
     I want to go, there's a gold road blazes before
     My breast—which is so sore.

     What?—your throat is bruised, bruised with my
     Ah, but if I am cruel what then are you?
     I am bruised right through.

     What if I love you!—This misery
     Of your dissatisfaction and misprision
     Stupefies me.

     Ah yes, your open arms! Ah yes, ah yes,
     You would take me to your breast!—But no,
     You should come to mine,
     It were better so.

     Here I am—get up and come to me!
     Not as a visitor either, nor a sweet
     And winsome child of innocence; nor
     As an insolent mistress telling my pulse's beat.

     Come to me like a woman coming home
     To the man who is her husband, all the rest
     Subordinate to this, that he and she
     Are joined together for ever, as is best.

     Behind me on the lake I hear the steamer drum-
     From Austria. There lies the world, and here
     Am I. Which way are you coming?


     HUSH then
     why do you cry?
     It's you and me
     the same as before.

     If you hear a rustle
     it's only a rabbit
     gone back to his hole
     in a bustle.

     If something stirs in the branches
     overhead, it will be a squirrel moving
     uneasily, disturbed by the stress
     of our loving.

     Why should you cry then?
     Are you afraid of God
     in the dark?

     I'm not afraid of God.
     Let him come forth.
     If he is hiding in the cover
     let him come forth.

     Now in the cool of the day
     it is we who walk in the trees
     and call to God "Where art thou?"
     And it is he who hides.

     Why do you cry?
     My heart is bitter.
     Let God come forth to justify
     himself now.

     Why do you cry?
     Is it Wehmut, ist dir weh?
     Weep then, yea
     for the abomination of our old righteousness,

     We have done wrong
     many times;
     but this time we begin to do right.

     Weep then, weep
     for the abomination of our past righteousness.
     God will keep
     hidden, he won't come forth.


     ALONG the avenue of cypresses
     All in their scarlet cloaks, and surplices
     Of linen go the chanting choristers,
     The priests in gold and black, the villagers. . . .

     And all along the path to the cemetery
     The round dark heads of men crowd silently,
     And black-scarved faces of women-folk, wistfully
     Watch at the banner of death, and the mystery.

     And at the foot of a grave a father stands
     With sunken head, and forgotten, folded hands;
     And at the foot of a grave a mother kneels
     With pale shut face, nor either hears nor feels

     The coming of the chanting choristers
     Between the avenue of cypresses,
     The silence of the many villagers,
     The candle-flames beside the surplices.


     THEY are chanting now the service of All the Dead
     And the village folk outside in the burying ground
     Listen—except those who strive with their dead,
     Reaching out in anguish, yet unable quite to
         touch them:
     Those villagers isolated at the grave
     Where the candles burn in the daylight, and the
         painted wreaths
     Are propped on end, there, where the mystery

     The naked candles burn on every grave.
     On your grave, in England, the weeds grow.

     But I am your naked candle burning,
     And that is not your grave, in England,
     The world is your grave.
     And my naked body standing on your grave
     Upright towards heaven is burning off to you
     Its flame of life, now and always, till the end.

     It is my offering to you; every day is All Souls'

     I forget you, have forgotten you.
     I am busy only at my burning,
     I am busy only at my life.
     But my feet are on your grave, planted.
     And when I lift my face, it is a flame that goes up
     To the other world, where you are now.
     But I am not concerned with you.
         I have forgotten you.

     I am a naked candle burning on your grave.


     AH yes, I know you well, a sojourner
         At the hearth;
     I know right well the marriage ring you wear,
         And what it's worth.

     The angels came to Abraham, and they stayed
         In his house awhile;
     So you to mine, I imagine; yes, happily
         Condescend to be vile.

     I see you all the time, you bird-blithe, lovely
         Angel in disguise.
     I see right well how I ought to be grateful,
         Smitten with reverent surprise.

     Listen, I have no use
         For so rare a visit;
     Mine is a common devil's

     Rise up and go, I have no use for you
         And your blithe, glad mien.
     No angels here, for me no goddesses,
         Nor any Queen.

     Put ashes on your head, put sackcloth on
         And learn to serve.
     You have fed me with your sweetness, now I am sick,
         As I deserve.

     Queens, ladies, angels, women rare,
         I have had enough.
     Put sackcloth on, be crowned with powdery ash,
         Be common stuff.

     And serve now woman, serve, as a woman should,
     Since I must serve and struggle with the imminent

     Serve then, I tell you, add your strength to mine
         Take on this doom.
     What are you by yourself, do you think, and what
         The mere fruit of your womb?

     What is the fruit of your womb then, you mother,
           you queen,
         When it falls to the ground?
     Is it more than the apples of Sodom you scorn so,
           the men
        Who abound?

     Bring forth the sons of your womb then, and put
         Into the fire
     Of Sodom that covers the earth; bring them forth
         From the womb of your precious desire.

     You woman most holy, you mother, you being
         Question or diminution,
     Add yourself up, and your seed, to the nought
         Of your last solution.


     AND because you love me
     think you you do not hate me?
     Ha, since you love me
     to ecstasy
     it follows you hate me to ecstasy.

     Because when you hear me
     go down the road outside the house
     you must come to the window to watch me go,
     do you think it is pure worship?

     Because, when I sit in the room,
     here, in my own house,
     and you want to enlarge yourself with this friend of
     such a friend as he is,
     yet you cannot get beyond your awareness of me
     you are held back by my being in the same world
         with you,
     do you think it is bliss alone?
     sheer harmony?

     No doubt if I were dead, you must
     reach into death after me,
     but would not your hate reach even more madly
         than your love?
     your impassioned, unfinished hate?

     Since you have a passion for me,
     as I for you,
     does not that passion stand in your way like a
         Balaam's ass?
     and am I not Balaam's ass
     golden-mouthed occasionally?
     But mostly, do you not detest my bray?

     Since you are confined in the orbit of me
     do you not loathe the confinement?
     Is not even the beauty and peace of an orbit
     an intolerable prison to you,
     as it is to everybody?

     But we will learn to submit
     each of us to the balanced, eternal orbit
     wherein we circle on our fate
     in strange conjunction.

     What is chaos, my love?
     It is not freedom.
     A disarray of falling stars coming to nought.


     PLEASE yourself how you have it.
     Take my words, and fling
     Them down on the counter roundly;
     See if they ring.

     Sift my looks and expressions,
     And see what proportion there is
     Of sand in my doubtful sugar
     Of verities.

     Have a real stock-taking
     Of my manly breast;
     Find out if I'm sound or bankrupt,
     Or a poor thing at best.

     For I am quite indifferent
     To your dubious state,
     As to whether you've found a fortune
     In me, or a flea-bitten fate.

     Make a good investigation
     Of all that is there,
     And then, if it's worth it, be grateful—
     If not then despair.

     If despair is our portion
     Then let us despair.
     Let us make for the weeping willow.
     I don't care.


     TAKE off your cloak and your hat
     And your shoes, and draw up at my hearth
     Where never woman sat.

     I have made the fire up bright;
     Let us leave the rest in the dark
     And sit by firelight.

     The wine is warm in the hearth;
     The flickers come and go.
     I will warm your feet with kisses
     Until they glow.


     THERE are only two things now,
     The great black night scooped out
     And this fire-glow.

     This fire-glow, the core,
     And we the two ripe pips
     That are held in store.

     Listen, the darkness rings
     As it circulates round our fire.
     Take off your things.

     Your shoulders, your bruised throat
     Your breasts, your nakedness!
     This fiery coat!

     As the darkness flickers and dips,
     As the firelight falls and leaps
     From your feet to your lips!


     Now you are mine, to-night at last I say it;
     You're a dove I have bought for sacrifice,
     And to-night I slay it.

     Here in my arms my naked sacrifice!
     Death, do you hear, in my arms I am bringing
     My offering, bought at great price.

     She's a silvery dove worth more than all I've got.
     Now I offer her up to the ancient, inexorable God,
     Who knows me not.

     Look, she's a wonderful dove, without blemish or
     I sacrifice all in her, my last of the world,
     Pride, strength, all the lot.

     All, all on the altar! And death swooping down
     Like a falcon. 'Tis God has taken the victim;
     I have won my renown.


     You shadow and flame,
     You interchange,
     You death in the game!

     Now I gather you up,
     Now I put you back
     Like a poppy in its cup.

     And so, you are a maid
     Again, my darling, but new,

     My love, my blossom, a child
     Almost! The flower in the bud
     Again, undefiled.

     And yet, a woman, knowing
     All, good, evil, both
     In one blossom blowing.


     THIS fireglow is a red womb
     In the night, where you're folded up
     On your doom.

     And the ugly, brutal years
     Are dissolving out of you,
     And the stagnant tears.

     I the great vein that leads
     From the night to the source of you,
     Which the sweet blood feeds.

     New phase in the germ of you;
     New sunny streams of blood
     Washing you through.

     You are born again of me.
     I, Adam, from the veins of me
     The Eve that is to be.

     What has been long ago
     Grows dimmer, we both forget,
     We no longer know.

     You are lovely, your face is soft
     Like a flower in bud
     On a mountain croft.

     This is Noël for me.
     To-night is a woman born
     Of the man in me.


     WHY do you spurt and sprottle
     like that, bunny?
     Why should I want to throttle
     you, bunny?

     Yes, bunch yourself between
     my knees and lie still.
     Lie on me with a hot, plumb, live weight,
     heavy as a stone, passive,
     yet hot, waiting.

     What are you waiting for?
     What are you waiting for?
     What is the hot, plumb weight of your desire on
     You have a hot, unthinkable desire of me, bunny.

     What is that spark
     glittering at me on the unutterable darkness
     of your eye, bunny?
     The finest splinter of a spark
     that you throw off, straight on the tinder of my

     It sets up a strange fire,
     a soft, most unwarrantable burning
     a bale-fire mounting, mounting up in me.

     'Tis not of me, bunny.
     It was you engendered it,
     with that fine, demoniacal spark
     you jetted off your eye at me.

     I did not want it,
     this furnace, this draught-maddened fire
     which mounts up my arms
     making them swell with turgid, ungovernable

     'Twas not I that wished it,
     that my fingers should turn into these flames
     avid and terrible
     that they are at this moment.

     It must have been your inbreathing, gaping desire
     that drew this red gush in me;
     I must be reciprocating your vacuous, hideous

     It must be the want in you
     that has drawn this terrible draught of white fire
     up my veins as up a chimney.

     It must be you who desire
     this intermingling of the black and monstrous
         fingers of Moloch
     in the blood-jets of your throat.

     Come, you shall have your desire,
     since already I am implicated with you
     in your strange lust.


     THROUGH the strait gate of passion,
     Between the bickering fire
     Where flames of fierce love tremble
     On the body of fierce desire:

     To the intoxication,
     The mind, fused down like a bead,
     Flees in its agitation
     The flames' stiff speed:

     At last to calm incandescence,
     Burned clean by remorseless hate,
     Now, at the day's renascence
     We approach the gate.

     Now, from the darkened spaces
     Of fear, and of frightened faces,
     Death, in our awful embraces
     Approached and passed by;

     We near the flame-burnt porches
     Where the brands of the angels, like torches
     Whirl,—in these perilous marches
     Pausing to sigh;

     We look back on the withering roses,
     The stars, in their sun-dimmed closes,
     Where 'twas given us to repose us
     Sure on our sanctity;

     Beautiful, candid lovers,
     Burnt out of our earthy covers,
     We might have nestled like plovers
     In the fields of eternity.

     There, sure in sinless being,
     All-seen, and then all-seeing,
     In us life unto death agreeing,
     We might have lain.

     But we storm the angel-guarded
     Gates of the long-discarded,
     Garden, which God has hoarded
     Against our pain.

     The Lord of Hosts, and the Devil
     Are left on Eternity's level
     Field, and as victors we travel
     To Eden home.

     Back beyond good and evil
     Return we. Eve dishevel
     Your hair for the bliss-drenched revel
     On our primal loam.


     AH, through the open door
     Is there an almond tree
     Aflame with blossom!
        —Let us fight no more.

     Among the pink and blue
     Of the sky and the almond flowers
     A sparrow flutters.
        —We have come through,

     It is really spring!—See,
     When he thinks himself alone
     How he bullies the flowers.
        —Ah, you and me

     How happy we'll be!—See him
     He clouts the tufts of flowers
     In his impudence.
        —But, did you dream

     It would be so bitter? Never mind
     It is finished, the spring is here.
     And we're going to be summer-happy
        And summer-kind.

     We have died, we have slain and been slain,
     We are not our old selves any more.
     I feel new and eager
        To start again.

     It is gorgeous to live and forget.
     And to feel quite new.
     See the bird in the flowers?—he's making
        A rare to-do!

     He thinks the whole blue sky
     Is much less than the bit of blue egg
     He's got in his nest—we'll be happy
        You and I, I and you.

     With nothing to fight any more—
     In each other, at least.
     See, how gorgeous the world is
        Outside the door!




     COME, my little one, closer up against me,
     Creep right up, with your round head pushed in
        my breast.

     How I love all of you! Do you feel me wrap
     Up with myself and my warmth, like a flame
        round the wick?

     And how I am not at all, except a flame that
        mounts off you.
     Where I touch you, I flame into being;—but is it
        me, or you?

     That round head pushed in my chest, like a nut
        in its socket,
     And I the swift bracts that sheathe it: those
        breasts, those thighs and knees,

     Those shoulders so warm and smooth: I feel
        that I
     Am a sunlight upon them, that shines them into

     But how lovely to be you! Creep closer in, that
        I am more.
     I spread over you! How lovely, your round head,
        your arms,

     Your breasts, your knees and feet! I feel that we
     Are a bonfire of oneness, me flame flung leaping
        round you,
     You the core of the fire, crept into me.


     AND oh, my little one, you whom I enfold,
     How quaveringly I depend on you, to keep me
     Like a flame on a wick!

     I, the man who enfolds you and holds you close,
     How my soul cleaves to your bosom as I clasp you,
     The very quick of my being!

     Suppose you didn't want me! I should sink down
     Like a light that has no sustenance
     And sinks low.

     Cherish me, my tiny one, cherish me who enfold
     Nourish me, and endue me, I am only of you,
     I am your issue.

     How full and big like a robust, happy flame
     When I enfold you, and you creep into me,
     And my life is fierce at its quick
     Where it comes off you!


     MY little one, my big one,
     My bird, my brown sparrow in my breast.
     My squirrel clutching in to me;
     My pigeon, my little one, so warm
     So close, breathing so still.

     My little one, my big one,
     I, who am so fierce and strong, enfolding you,
     If you start away from my breast, and leave me,
     How suddenly I shall go down into nothing
     Like a flame that falls of a sudden.

     And you will be before me, tall and towering,
     And I shall be wavering uncertain
     Like a sunken flame that grasps for support.


     BUT now I am full and strong and certain
     With you there firm at the core of me
     Keeping me.

     How sure I feel, how warm and strong and happy
     For the future! How sure the future is within me;
     I am like a seed with a perfect flower enclosed.

     I wonder what it will be,
     What will come forth of us.
     What flower, my love?

     No matter, I am so happy,
     I feel like a firm, rich, healthy root,
     Rejoicing in what is to come.

     How I depend on you utterly
     My little one, my big one!
     How everything that will be, will not be of me,
     Nor of either of us,
     But of both of us.


     AND think, there will something come forth from
     We two, folded so small together,
     There will something come forth from us.
     Children, acts, utterance
     Perhaps only happiness.

     Perhaps only happiness will come forth from us.
     Old sorrow, and new happiness.
     Only that one newness.

     But that is all I want.
     And I am sure of that.
     We are sure of that.


     AND yet all the while you are you, you are not me.
     And I am I, I am never you.
     How awfully distinct and far off from each other's
        being we are!

     Yet I am glad.
     I am so glad there is always you beyond my scope,
     Something that stands over,
     Something I shall never be,
     That I shall always wonder over, and wait for,
     Look for like the breath of life as long as I live,
     Still waiting for you, however old you are, and I
     I shall always wonder over you, and look for you.

     And you will always be with me.
     I shall never cease to be filled with newness,
     Having you near me.


     THE listless beauty of the hour
     When snow fell on the apple trees
     And the wood-ash gathered in the fire
     And we faced our first miseries.

     Then the sweeping sunshine of noon
     When the mountains like chariot cars
     Were ranked to blue battle—and you and I
     Counted our scars.

     And then in a strange, grey hour
     We lay mouth to mouth, with your face
     Under mine like a star on the lake,
     And I covered the earth, and all space.

     The silent, drifting hours
     Of morn after morn
     And night drifting up to the night
     Yet no pathway worn.

     Your life, and mine, my love
     Passing on and on, the hate
     Fusing closer and closer with love
     Till at length they mate.


     NOT I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!
     A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time.
     If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry
     If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a
        winged gift!
     If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am
     By the fine, fine wind that takes its course through
        the chaos of the world
     Like a fine, an exquisite chisel, a wedge-blade
     If only I am keen and hard like the sheer tip of a
     Driven by invisible blows,
     The rock will split, we shall come at the wonder,
        we shall find the Hesperides.

     Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul,
     I would be a good fountain, a good well-head,
     Would blur no whisper, spoil no expression.

        What is the knocking?
        What is the knocking at the door in the night?
        It is somebody wants to do us harm.

        No, no, it is the three strange angels.
        Admit them, admit them.


     I DON'T care whether I am beautiful to you
             You other women.
     Nothing of me that you see is my own;
     A man balances, bone unto bone
     Balances, everything thrown
             In the scale, you other women.

     You may look and say to yourselves, I do
             Not show like the rest.
     My face may not please you, nor my stature; yet
        if you knew
     How happy I am, how my heart in the wind rings
     Like a bell that is chiming, each stroke as a stroke
        falls due,
             You other women:

     You would draw your mirror towards you, you
        would wish
             To be different.
     There's the beauty you cannot see, myself and
     Balanced in glorious equilibrium,
     The swinging beauty of equilibrium,
             You other women.

     There's this other beauty, the way of the stars
             You straggling women.
     If you knew how I swerve in peace, in the equi-
     With the man, if you knew how my flesh enjoys
     The swinging bliss no shattering ever destroys
             You other women:

     You would envy me, you would think me wonder-
             Beyond compare;
     You would weep to be lapsing on such harmony
     As carries me, you would wonder aloud that he
     Who is so strange should correspond with me

     You see he is different, he is dangerous,
             Without pity or love.
     And yet how his separate being liberates me
     And gives me peace! You cannot see
     How the stars are moving in surety
             Exquisite, high above.

     We move without knowing, we sleep, and we
        travel on,
             You other women.
     And this is beauty to me, to be lifted and gone
     In a motion human inhuman, two and one
     Encompassed, and many reduced to none,
             You other women.



     THE great gold apples of night
     Hang from the street's long bough
              Dripping their light
     On the faces that drift below,
     On the faces that drift and blow
     Down the night-time, out of sight
              In the wind's sad sough.

     The ripeness of these apples of night
     Distilling over me
              Makes sickening the white
     Ghost-flux of faces that hie
     Them endlessly, endlessly by
     Without meaning or reason why
              They ever should be.


     GOLD, with an innermost speck
     Of silver, singing afloat
         Beneath the night,
     Like balls of thistle-down
     Wandering up and down
     Over the whispering town
         Seeking where to alight!

     Slowly, above the street
     Above the ebb of feet
         Drifting in flight;
     Still, in the purple distance
     The gold of their strange persistence
     As they cross and part and meet
         And pass out of sight!

     The seed-ball of the sun
     Is broken at last, and done
         Is the orb of day.
     Now to the separate ends
     Seed after day-seed wends
         A separate way.

     No sun will ever rise
     Again on the wonted skies
         In the midst of the spheres.
     The globe of the day, over-ripe,
     Is shattered at last beneath the stripe
     Of the wind, and its oneness veers
         Out myriad-wise.

     Seed after seed after seed
     Drifts over the town, in its need
         To sink and have done;
     To settle at last in the dark,
     To bury its weary spark
         Where the end is begun.

     Darkness, and depth of sleep,
     Nothing to know or to weep
         Where the seed sinks in
     To the earth of the under-night
     Where all is silent, quite
     Still, and the darknesses steep
         Out all the sin.

     SHE said as well to me: "Why are you ashamed?
     That little bit of your chest that shows between
     the gap of your shirt, why cover it up?
     Why shouldn't your legs and your good strong
     be rough and hairy?—I'm glad they are like
     You are shy, you silly, you silly shy thing.
     Men are the shyest creatures, they never will come
     out of their covers. Like any snake
     slipping into its bed of dead leaves, you hurry into
        your clothes.
     And I love you so! Straight and clean and all of a
        piece is the body of a man,
     such an instrument, a spade, like a spear, or an
     such a joy to me—"
     So she laid her hands and pressed them down my
     so that I began to wonder over myself, and what I

     She said to me: "What an instrument, your
     single and perfectly distinct from everything else!
     What a tool in the hands of the Lord!
     Only God could have brought it to its shape.
     It feels as if his handgrasp, wearing you
     had polished you and hollowed you,
     hollowed this groove in your sides, grasped you
        under the breasts
     and brought you to the very quick of your form,
     subtler than an old, soft-worn fiddle-bow.

     "When I was a child, I loved my father's riding-
     that he used so often.
     I loved to handle it, it seemed like a near part of
     So I did his pens, and the jasper seal on his desk.
     Something seemed to surge through me when I
        touched them.

     "So it is with you, but here
     The joy I feel!
     God knows what I feel, but it is joy!
     Look, you are clean and fine and singled out!
     I admire you so, you are beautiful: this clean
        sweep of your sides, this firmness, this hard
     I would die rather than have it injured with one
     I wish I could grip you like the fist of the Lord,
        and have you—"

     So she said, and I wondered,
     feeling trammelled and hurt.
     It did not make me free.

     Now I say to her: "No tool, no instrument, no
     Don't touch me and appreciate me.
     It is an infamy.
     You would think twice before you touched a
        weasel on a fence
     as it lifts its straight white throat.
     Your hand would not be so flig and easy.
     Nor the adder we saw asleep with her head on her
     curled up in the sunshine like a princess;
     when she lifted her head in delicate, startled
     you did not stretch forward to caress her
     though she looked rarely beautiful
     and a miracle as she glided delicately away, with
        such dignity.
     And the young bull in the field, with his wrinkled,
        sad face,
     you are afraid if he rises to his feet,
     though he is all wistful and pathetic, like a mono-
        lith, arrested, static.

     "Is there nothing in me to make you hesitate?
     I tell you there is all these.
     And why should you overlook them in me?—"



     AND so I cross into another world
     shyly and in homage linger for an invitation
     from this unknown that I would trespass on.

     I am very glad, and all alone in the world,
     all alone, and very glad, in a new world
     where I am disembarked at last.

     I could cry with joy, because I am in the new world,
         just ventured in.
     I could cry with joy, and quite freely, there is
         nobody to know.

     And whosoever the unknown people of this un-
         known world may be
     they will never understand my weeping for joy
         to be adventuring among them
     because it will still be a gesture of the old world I
         am making
     which they will not understand, because it is
         quite, quite foreign to them.


     I WAS so weary of the world
     I was so sick of it
     everything was tainted with myself,
     skies, trees, flowers, birds, water,
     people, houses, streets, vehicles, machines,
     nations, armies, war, peace-talking,
     work, recreation, governing, anarchy,
     it was all tainted with myself, I knew it all to start
     because it was all myself.

     When I gathered flowers, I knew it was myself
        plucking my own flowering.
     When I went in a train, I knew it was myself
        travelling by my own invention.
     When I heard the cannon of the war, I listened
        with my own ears to my own destruction.
     When I saw the torn dead, I knew it was my own
        torn dead body.
     It was all me, I had done it all in my own flesh.


     I SHALL never forget the maniacal horror of it all
        in the end
     when everything was me, I knew it all already, I
        anticipated it all in my soul
     because I was the author and the result
     I was the God and the creation at once;
     creator, I looked at my creation;
     created, I looked at myself, the creator:
     it was a maniacal horror in the end.

     I was a lover, I kissed the woman I loved,
     and God of horror, I was kissing also myself.
     I was a father and a begetter of children,
     and oh, oh horror, I was begetting and conceiving
     in my own body.


     AT last came death, sufficiency of death,
     and that at last relieved me, I died.
     I buried my beloved; it was good, I buried
        myself and was gone.
     War came, and every hand raised to murder;
     very good, very good, every hand raised to murder!
     Very good, very good, I am a murderer!
     It is good, I can murder and murder, and see
        them fall
     the mutilated, horror-struck youths, a multitude
     one on another, and then in clusters together
     smashed, all oozing with blood, and burned in heaps
     going up in a foetid smoke to get rid of them
     the murdered bodies of youths and men in heaps
     and heaps and heaps and horrible reeking heaps
     till it is almost enough, till I am reduced perhaps;
     thousands and thousands of gaping, hideous foul
     that are youths and men and me
     being burned with oil, and consumed in corrupt
        thick smoke, that rolls
     and taints and blackens the sky, till at last it is
        dark, dark as night, or death, or hell
     and I am dead, and trodden to nought in the
        smoke-sodden tomb;
     dead and trodden to nought in the sour black
     of the tomb; dead and trodden to nought, trodden
        to nought.


     GOD, but it is good to have died and been trodden
     trodden to nought in sour, dead earth
     quite to nought
     absolutely to nothing

     For when it is quite, quite nothing, then it is
     When I am trodden quite out, quite, quite out
     every vestige gone, then I am here
     risen, and setting my foot on another world
     risen, accomplishing a resurrection
     risen, not born again, but risen, body the same as
     new beyond knowledge of newness, alive beyond
     proud beyond inkling or furthest conception of
     living where life was never yet dreamed of, nor
        hinted at
     here, in the other world, still terrestrial
     myself, the same as before, yet unaccountably new.


     I, IN the sour black tomb, trodden to absolute death
     I put out my hand in the night, one night, and my
     touched that which was verily not me
     verily it was not me.
     Where I had been was a sudden blaze
     a sudden flaring blaze!
     So I put my hand out further, a little further
     and I felt that which was not I,
     it verily was not I
     it was the unknown.

     Ha, I was a blaze leaping up!
     I was a tiger bursting into sunlight.
     I was greedy, I was mad for the unknown.
     I, new-risen, resurrected, starved from the tomb
     starved from a life of devouring always myself
     now here was I, new-awakened, with my hand
        stretching out
     and touching the unknown, the real unknown,
        the unknown unknown.

     My God, but I can only say
     I touch, I feel the unknown!
     I am the first comer!
     Cortes, Pisarro, Columbus, Cabot, they are noth-
        ing, nothing!
     I am the first comer!
     I am the discoverer!
     I have found the other world!

     The unknown, the unknown!
     I am thrown upon the shore.
     I am covering myself with the sand.
     I am filling my mouth with the earth.
     I am burrowing my body into the soil.
     The unknown, the new world!


     IT was the flank of my wife
     I touched with my hand, I clutched with my
     rising, new-awakened from the tomb!
     It was the flank of my wife
     whom I married years ago
     at whose side I have lain for over a thousand
     and all that previous while, she was I, she
     was I;
     I touched her, it was I who touched and I who was

     Yet rising from the tomb, from the black oblivion
     stretching out my hand, my hand flung like a
        drowned man's hand on a rock,
     I touched her flank and knew I was carried by the
        current in death
     over to the new world, and was climbing out on
        the shore,
     risen, not to the old world, the old, changeless I,
        the old life,
     wakened not to the old knowledge
     but to a new earth, a new I, a new knowledge, a
        new world of time.

     Ah no, I cannot tell you what it is, the new world
     I cannot tell you the mad, astounded rapture of
        its discovery.
     I shall be mad with delight before I have done,
     and whosoever comes after will find me in the
        new world
     a madman in rapture.


     GREEN streams that flow from the innermost
        continent of the new world,
     what are they?
     Green and illumined and travelling for ever
     dissolved with the mystery of the innermost heart
        of the continent
     mystery beyond knowledge or endurance, so sump-
     out of the well-heads of the new world.—
     The other, she too has strange green eyes!
     White sands and fruits unknown and perfumes
        that never
     can blow across the dark seas to our usual
     And land that beats with a pulse!
     And valleys that draw close in love!
     And strange ways where I fall into oblivion of
        uttermost living!—
     Also she who is the other has strange-mounded
        breasts and strange sheer slopes, and white

     Sightless and strong oblivion in utter life takes
        possession of me!
     The unknown, strong current of life supreme
     drowns me and sweeps me away and holds me
     to the sources of mystery, in the depths,
     extinguishes there my risen resurrected life
     and kindles it further at the core of utter mystery.



     I HAVE found a place of loneliness
     Lonelier than Lyonesse
     Lovelier than Paradise;

     Full of sweet stillness
     That no noise can transgress
     Never a lamp distress.

     The full moon sank in state.
     I saw her stand and wait
     For her watchers to shut the gate.

     Then I found myself in a wonderland
     All of shadow and of bland
     Silence hard to understand.

     I waited therefore; then I knew
     The presence of the flowers that grew
     Noiseless, their wonder noiseless blew.

     And flashing kingfishers that flew
     In sightless beauty, and the few
     Shadows the passing wild-beast threw.

     And Eve approaching over the ground
     Unheard and subtle, never a sound
     To let me know that I was found.

     Invisible the hands of Eve
     Upon me travelling to reeve
     Me from the matrix, to relieve

     Me from the rest! Ah terribly
     Between the body of life and me
     Her hands slid in and set me free.

     Ah, with a fearful, strange detection
     She found the source of my subjection
     To the All, and severed the connection.

     Delivered helpless and amazed
     From the womb of the All, I am waiting, dazed
     For memory to be erased.

     Then I shall know the Elysium
     That lies outside the monstrous womb
     Of time from out of which I come.



     A WOMAN has given me strength and affluence.

     All the rocking wheat of Canada, ripening now,
     has not so much of strength as the body of one
     sweet in ear, nor so much to give
     though it feed nations.

     Hunger is the very Satan.
     The fear of hunger is Moloch, Belial, the horrible
     It is a fearful thing to be dominated by the fear of

     Not bread alone, not the belly nor the thirsty
     I have never yet been smitten through the belly,
         with the lack of bread,
     no, nor even milk and honey.

     The fear of the want of these things seems to be
         quite left out of me.
     For so much, I thank the good generations of man-


     AND the sweet, constant, balanced heat
     of the suave sensitive body, the hunger for this
     has never seized me and terrified me.
     Here again, man has been good in his legacy to us,
         in these two primary instances.


     THEN the dumb, aching, bitter, helpless need,
     the pining to be initiated,
     to have access to the knowledge that the great dead
     have opened up for us, to know, to satisfy
     the great and dominant hunger of the mind;
     man's sweetest harvest of the centuries, sweet,
         printed books,
     bright, glancing, exquisite corn of many a stubborn
     glebe in the upturned darkness;
     I thank mankind with passionate heart
     that I just escaped the hunger for these,
     that they were given when I needed them,
     because I am the son of man.

     I have eaten, and drunk, and warmed and clothed
         my body,
     I have been taught the language of understanding,
     I have chosen among the bright and marvellous
     like any prince, such stores of the world's supply
     were open to me, in the wisdom and goodness of
     So far, so good.
     Wise, good provision that makes the heart swell
         with love!


     BUT then came another hunger
     very deep, and ravening;
     the very body's body crying out
     with a hunger more frightening, more profound
     than stomach or throat or even the mind;
     redder than death, more clamorous.

     The hunger for the woman. Alas,
     it is so deep a Moloch, ruthless and strong,
     'tis like the unutterable name of the dread Lord,
     not to be spoken aloud.
     Yet there it is, the hunger which comes upon us,
     which we must learn to satisfy with pure, real
     or perish, there is no alternative.

     I thought it was woman, indiscriminate woman,
     mere female adjunct of what I was.
     Ah, that was torment hard enough
     and a thing to be afraid of,
     a threatening, torturing, phallic Moloch.

     A woman fed that hunger in me at last.
     What many women cannot give, one woman can;
     so I have known it.

     She stood before me like riches that were mine.
     Even then, in the dark, I was tortured, ravening,
     Ashamed, and shameful, and vicious.
     A man is so terrified of strong hunger;
     and this terror is the root of all cruelty.
     She loved me, and stood before me, looking to me.
     How could I look, when I was mad? I looked
         sideways, furtively,
     being mad with voracious desire.


     THIS comes right at last.
     When a man is rich, he loses at last the hunger fear.
     I lost at last the fierceness that fears it will starve.
     I could put my face at last between her breasts
     and know that they were given for ever
     that I should never starve
     never perish;
     I had eaten of the bread that satisfies
     and my body's body was appeased,
     there was peace and richness,

     Let them praise desire who will,
     but only fulfilment will do,
     real fulfilment, nothing short.
     It is our ratification
     our heaven, as a matter of fact.
     Immortality, the heaven, is only a projection of
         this strange but actual fulfilment,
     here in the flesh.

     So, another hunger was supplied,
     and for this I have to thank one woman,
     not mankind, for mankind would have prevented
     but one woman,
     and these are my red-letter thanksgivings.


     To be, or not to be, is still the question.
     This ache for being is the ultimate hunger.
     And for myself, I can say "almost, almost, oh,
         very nearly."
     Yet something remains.
     Something shall not always remain.
     For the main already is fulfilment.

     What remains in me, is to be known even as I
     I know her now: or perhaps, I know my own
         limitation against her.

     Plunging as I have done, over, over the brink
     I have dropped at last headlong into nought,
         plunging upon sheer hard extinction;
     I have come, as it were, not to know,
     died, as it were; ceased from knowing; surpassed
     What can I say more, except that I know what it is
     to surpass myself?

     It is a kind of death which is not death.
     It is going a little beyond the bounds.
     How can one speak, where there is a dumbness on
         one's mouth?
     I suppose, ultimately she is all beyond me,
     she is all not-me, ultimately.
     It is that that one comes to.
     A curious agony, and a relief, when I touch that
         which is not me in any sense,
     it wounds me to death with my own not-being;
         definite, inviolable limitation,
     and something beyond, quite beyond, if you
         understand what that means.
     It is the major part of being, this having surpassed
     this having touched the edge of the beyond, and
         perished, yet not perished.


     I WANT her though, to take the same from me.
     She touches me as if I were herself, her own.
     She has not realized yet, that fearful thing, that
         I am the other,
     she thinks we are all of one piece.
     It is painfully untrue.

     I want her to touch me at last, ah, on the root and
         quick of my darkness
     and perish on me, as I have perished on her.

     Then, we shall be two and distinct, we shall have
         each our separate being.
     And that will be pure existence, real liberty.
     Till then, we are confused, a mixture, unresolved,
         unextricated one from the other.
     It is in pure, unutterable resolvedness, distinction
         of being, that one is free,
     not in mixing, merging, not in similarity.
     When she has put her hand on my secret, darkest
         sources, the darkest outgoings,
     when it has struck home to her, like a death, "this
         is him!"
     she has no part in it, no part whatever,
     it is the terrible other,
     when she knows the fearful other flesh, ah, dark-
         ness unfathomable and fearful, contiguous and
     when she is slain against me, and lies in a heap
         like one outside the house,
     when she passes away as I have passed away
     being pressed up against the other,
     then I shall be glad, I shall not be confused with
     I shall be cleared, distinct, single as if burnished
         in silver,
     having no adherence, no adhesion anywhere,
     one clear, burnished, isolated being, unique,
     and she also, pure, isolated, complete,
     two of us, unutterably distinguished, and in
         unutterable conjunction.

     Then we shall be free, freer than angels, ah,


     AFTER that, there will only remain that all men
         detach themselves and become unique,
     that we are all detached, moving in freedom more
         than the angels,
     conditioned only by our own pure single being,
     having no laws but the laws of our own being.

     Every human being will then be like a flower,
     Every movement will be direct.
     Only to be will be such delight, we cover our faces
         when we think of it
     lest our faces betray us to some untimely fiend.

     Every man himself, and therefore, a surpassing
         singleness of mankind.
     The blazing tiger will spring upon the deer, un-
     the hen will nestle over her chickens,
     we shall love, we shall hate,
     but it will be like music, sheer utterance,
     issuing straight out of the unknown,
     the lightning and the rainbow appearing in us
         unbidden, unchecked,
     like ambassadors.

        We shall not look before and after.
        We shall be, now.
        We shall know in full.
        We, the mystic NOW.



     THE plane leaves
     fall black and wet
     on the lawn;

     The cloud sheaves
     in heaven's fields set
     droop and are drawn

     in falling seeds of rain;
     the seed of heaven
     on my face

     falling—I hear again
     like echoes even
     that softly pace

     Heaven's muffled floor,
     the winds that tread
     out all the grain

     of tears, the store
     in the sheaves of pain

     caught up aloft:
     the sheaves of dead
     men that are slain

     now winnowed soft
     on the floor of heaven;
     manna invisible

     of all the pain
     here to us given;
     finely divisible
     falling as rain.


     IT is not long since, here among all these folk
     in London, I should have held myself
     of no account whatever,
     but should have stood aside and made them way
     thinking that they, perhaps,
     had more right than I—for who was I?

     Now I see them just the same, and watch them.
     But of what account do I hold them?

     Especially the young women. I look at them
     as they dart and flash
     before the shops, like wagtails on the edge of a

     If I pass them close, or any man,
     like sharp, slim wagtails they flash a little aside
     pretending to avoid us; yet all the time

     They think that we adore them—alas, would it
         were true!

     Probably they think all men adore them,
     howsoever they pass by.

     What is it, that, from their faces fresh as spring,
     such fair, fresh, alert, first-flower faces,
     like lavender crocuses, snowdrops, like Roman
     scyllas and yellow-haired hellebore, jonquils, dim
     even the sulphur auriculas,
     flowers that come first from the darkness, and feel
         cold to the touch,
     flowers scentless or pungent, ammoniacal almost;
     what is it, that, from the faces of the fair young
     comes like a pungent scent, a vibration beneath
     that startles me, alarms me, stirs up a repulsion?

     They are the issue of acrid winter, these first-
         flower young women;
     their scent is lacerating and repellant,
     it smells of burning snow, of hot-ache,
     of earth, winter-pressed, strangled in corruption;
     it is the scent of the fiery-cold dregs of corruption,
     when destruction soaks through the mortified,
         decomposing earth,
     and the last fires of dissolution burn in the bosom
         of the ground.

     They are the flowers of ice-vivid mortification,
     thaw-cold, ice-corrupt blossoms,
     with a loveliness I loathe;
     for what kind of ice-rotten, hot-aching heart
         must they need to root in!


     I WISH it were spring in the world.

     Let it be spring!
     Come, bubbling, surging tide of sap!
     Come, rush of creation!
     Come, life! surge through this mass of mortifica-
     Come, sweep away these exquisite, ghastly first-
     which are rather last-flowers!
     Come, thaw down their cool portentousness,
        dissolve them:
     snowdrops, straight, death-veined exhalations of
        white and purple crocuses,
     flowers of the penumbra, issue of corruption,
        nourished in mortification,
     jets of exquisite finality;
     Come, spring, make havoc of them!

     I trample on the snowdrops, it gives me pleasure
        to tread down the jonquils,
     to destroy the chill Lent lilies;
     for I am sick of them, their faint-bloodedness,
     slow-blooded, icy-fleshed, portentous.

     I want the fine, kindling wine-sap of spring,
     gold, and of inconceivably fine, quintessential
     rare almost as beams, yet overwhelmingly potent,
     strong like the greatest force of world-balancing.

     This is the same that picks up the harvest of wheat
     and rocks it, tons of grain, on the ripening wind;
     the same that dangles the globe-shaped pleiads of
     temptingly in mid-air, between a playful thumb and
     oh, and suddenly, from out of nowhere, whirls
        the pear-bloom,
     upon us, and apple- and almond- and apricot-
        and quince-blossom,
     storms and cumulus clouds of all imaginable
     about our bewildered faces,
     though we do not worship.

     I wish it were spring
     cunningly blowing on the fallen sparks, odds and
        ends of the old, scattered fire,
     and kindling shapely little conflagrations
     curious long-legged foals, and wide-eared calves,
        and naked sparrow-bubs.

     I wish that spring
     would start the thundering traffic of feet
     new feet on the earth, beating with impatience.

     I wish it were spring, thundering
     delicate, tender spring.
     I wish these brittle, frost-lovely flowers of pas-
        sionate, mysterious corruption
     were not yet to come still more from the still-
        flickering discontent.

     Oh, in the spring, the bluebell bows him down for
        very exuberance,
     exulting with secret warm excess,
     bowed down with his inner magnificence!

     Oh, yes, the gush of spring is strong enough
     to toss the globe of earth like a ball on a water-jet
     dancing sportfully;
     as you see a tiny celluloid ball tossing on a squint
        of water
     for men to shoot at, penny-a-time, in a booth at a

     The gush of spring is strong enough
     to play with the globe of earth like a ball on a
     At the same time it opens the tiny hands of the
     with such infinite patience.

     The power of the rising, golden, all-creative sap
        could take the earth
     and heave it off among the stars, into the in-
     the same sets the throstle at sunset on a bough
     singing against the blackbird;
     comes out in the hesitating tremor of the primrose,
     and betrays its candour in the round white straw-
        berry flower,
     is dignified in the foxglove, like a Red-Indian

     Ah come, come quickly, spring!
     Come and lift us towards our culmination, we
     we who have never flowered, like patient cactuses.
     Come and lift us to our end, to blossom, bring us
        to our summer
     we who are winter-weary in the winter of the world.
     Come making the chaffinch nests hollow and cosy,
     come and soften the willow buds till they are
        puffed and furred,
     then blow them over with gold.
     Come and cajole the gawky colt's-foot flowers.

     Come quickly, and vindicate us
     against too much death.
     Come quickly, and stir the rotten globe of the
        world from within,
     burst it with germination, with world anew.
     Come now, to us, your adherents, who cannot
        flower from the ice.
     All the world gleams with the lilies of Death the
     but come, give us our turn.
     Enough of the virgins and lilies, of passionate,
        suffocating perfume of corruption,
     no more narcissus perfume, lily harlots, the blades
        of sensation
     piercing the flesh to blossom of death.
     Have done, have done with this shuddering,
        delicious business
     of thrilling ruin in the flesh, of pungent passion,
        of rare, death-edged ecstasy.
     Give us our turn, give us a chance, let our hour
     O soon, soon!

     Let the darkness turn violet with rich dawn.
     Let the darkness be warmed, warmed through to a
        ruddy violet,
     incipient purpling towards summer in the world
        of the heart of man.

     Are the violets already here!
     Show me! I tremble so much to hear it, that even
     on the threshold of spring, I fear I shall die.
     Show me the violets that are out.

     Oh, if it be true, and the living darkness of the
        blood of man is purpling with violets,
     if the violets are coming out from under the rack
        of men, winter-rotten and fallen
     we shall have spring.
     Pray not to die on this Pisgah blossoming with
     Pray to live through.

     If you catch a whiff of violets from the darkness of
        the shadow of man
     it will be spring in the world,
     it will be spring in the world of the living;
     wonderment organising itself, heralding itself with
        the violets,
     stirring of new seasons.

     Ah, do not let me die on the brink of such
     Worse, let me not deceive myself.


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