Look! We Have Come Through!

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Look! We Have Come Through! Page 2

by D. H. Lawrence

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 aeons 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 a
s 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

  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-


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