Look! We Have Come Through!

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Look! We Have Come Through! Page 5

by D. H. Lawrence

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 ni
ght, 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 giv
en 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


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