Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
Wedlock
By D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930)
 
(From Look! We Have Come Through! 1918)

I
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 you
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.        5
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 being.        10
 
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.        15
 
II
AND oh, my little one, you whom I enfold,
How quaveringly I depend on you, to keep me alive,
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,        20
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 you.        25
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        30
Where it comes off you!
 
III
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        35
5o 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        40
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.
 
IV
BUT now I am full and strong and certain
        45
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.        50
 
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,        55
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,        60
But of both of us.
 
V
AND think, there will something come forth from us.
We two, folded so small together,
There will something come forth from us.
Children, acts, utterance        65
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.        70
And I am sure of that.
We are sure of that.
 
 
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