Verse > D.H. Lawrence > New Poems
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D.H. Lawrence (1885–1930).  New Poems.  1916.

39. Débâcle


THE TREES in trouble because of autumn, 
  And scarlet berries falling from the bush, 
And all the myriad houseless seeds 
  Loosing hold in the wind’s insistent push 
  
Moan softly with autumnal parturition,         5
  Poor, obscure fruits extruded out of light 
Into the world of shadow, carried down 
  Between the bitter knees of the after-night. 
  
Bushed in an uncouth ardour, coiled at core 
  With a knot of life that only bliss can unravel,  10
Fall all the fruits most bitterly into earth 
  Bitterly into corrosion bitterly travel. 
  
What is it internecine that is locked, 
  By very fierceness into a quiescence 
Within the rage? We shall not know till it burst  15
  Out of corrosion into new florescence. 
  
Nay, but how tortured is the frightful seed 
  The spark intense within it, all without 
Mordant corrosion gnashing and champing hard 
  For ruin on the naked small redoubt.  20
  
Bitter, to fold the issue, and make no sally; 
  To have the mystery, but not go forth; 
To bear, but retaliate nothing, given to save 
  The spark in storms of corrosion, as seeds from the north. 
  
The sharper, more horrid the pressure, the harder the heart  25
  That saves the blue grain of eternal fire 
Within its quick, committed to hold and wait 
  And suffer unheeding, only forbidden to expire. 


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