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Best Famous David Herbert Lawrence Poems

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by David Herbert Lawrence | |

If You are a Man

 If you are a man, and believe in the destiny of mankind
then say to yourself: we will cease to care
about property and money and mechanical devices,
and open our consciousness to the deep, mysterious life
that we are now cut off from.
The machine shall be abolished from the earth again; it is a mistake that mankind has made; money shall cease to be, and property shall cease to perplex and we will find the way to immediate contact with life and with one another.
To know the moon as we have never known yet she is knowable.
To know a man as we have never known a man, as never yet a man was knowable, yet still shall be.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Dreams

 All people dream, but not equally.
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind, Wake in the morning to find that it was vanity.
But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, For they dream their dreams with open eyes, And make them come true.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

The White Horse

 The youth walks up to the white horse, to put its halter on
and the horse looks at him in silence.
They are so silent, they are in another world.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Piano

 Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.
In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside And hymns in the cozy parlor, the tinkling piano our guide.
So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamor With the great black piano appassionato.
The glamor Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Silence

 Since I lost you I am silence-haunted,
Sounds wave their little wings 
A moment, then in weariness settle
On the flood that soundless swings.
Whether the people in the street Like pattering ripples go by, Or whether the theatre sighs and sighs With a loud, hoarse sigh: Or the wind shakes a ravel of light Over the dead-black river, Or night’s last echoing Makes the daybreak shiver: I feel the silence waiting To take them all up again In its vast completeness, enfolding The sound of men.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Patience

 A wind comes from the north
Blowing little flocks of birds 
Like spray across the town, 
And a train, roaring forth, 
Rushes stampeding down
With cries and flying curds
Of steam, out of the darkening north.
Whither I turn and set Like a needle steadfastly, Waiting ever to get The news that she is free; But ever fixed, as yet, To the lode of her agony.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Nothing To Save

 There is nothing to save, now all is lost,
but a tiny core of stillness in the heart
like the eye of a violet.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

The Gods! The Gods!

 People were bathing and posturing themselves on the beach, 
and all was dreary, great robot limbs, robot breasts, 
robot voices, robot even the gay umbrellas.
But a woman, shy and alone, was washing herself under a tap and the glimmer of the presence of the gods was like lilies, and like water-lilies.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Giorno dei Morti

 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 womenfolk, 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.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Discord in Childhood

 Outside the house an ash-tree hung its terrible whips,
And at night when the wind arose, the lash of the tree 
Shrieked and slashed the wind, as a ship’s 
Weird rigging in a storm shrieks hideously.
Within the house two voices arose in anger, a slender lash Whistling delirious rage, and the dreadful sound Of a thick lash booming and bruising, until it drowned The other voice in a silence of blood, ’neath the noise of the ash.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

A Baby Asleep after Pain

 As a drenched, drowned bee 
Hangs numb and heavy from a bending flower, 
So clings to me 
My baby, her brown hair brushed with wet tears 
And laid against her cheek;
Her soft white legs hanging heavily over my arm 
Swinging heavily to my movements as I walk.
My sleeping baby hangs upon my life, Like a burden she hangs on me.
She has always seemed so light, But now she is wet with tears and numb with pain Even her floating hair sinks heavily, Reaching downwards; As the wings of a drenched, drowned bee Are a heaviness, and a weariness.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Elegy

 Since I lost you, my darling, the sky has come near,
And I am of it, the small sharp stars are quite near,
The white moon going among them like a white bird among snow-berries,
And the sound of her gently rustling in heaven like a bird I hear.
And I am willing to come to you now, my dear, As a pigeon lets itself off from a cathedral dome To be lost in the haze of the sky, I would like to come, And be lost out of sight with you, and be gone like foam.
For I am tired, my dear, and if I could lift my feet, My tenacious feet from off the dome of the earth To fall like a breath within the breathing wind Where you are lost, what rest, my love, what rest!


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Self-pity

 I never saw a wild thing 
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Lies About Love

 We are a liars, because
the truth of yesterday becomes a lie tomorrow,
whereas letters are fixed,
and we live by the letter of truth.
The love I feel for my friend, this year, is different from the love I felt last year.
If it were not so, it would be a lie.
Yet we reiterate love! love! love! as if it were a coin with a fixed value instead of a flower that dies, and opens a different bud.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Conundrums

 Tell me a word
that you've often heard,
yet it makes you squint
when you see it in print!

Tell me a thing
that you've often seen
yet if put in a book
it makes you turn green!

Tell me a thing
that you often do,
when described in a story
shocks you through and through!

Tell me what's wrong
with words or with you
that you don't mind the thing
yet the name is taboo.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Butterfly

 Butterfly, the wind blows sea-ward, 
 strong beyond the garden-wall!
Butterfly, why do you settle on my
 shoe, and sip the dirt on my shoe, 
Lifting your veined wings, lifting them?
 big white butterfly!

Already it is October, and the wind
 blows strong to the sea
from the hills where snow must have 
 fallen, the wind is polished with 
 snow.
Here in the garden, with red geraniums, it is warm, it is warm but the wind blows strong to sea-ward, white butterfly, content on my shoe! Will you go, will you go from my warm house? Will you climb on your big soft wings, black-dotted, as up an invisible rainbow, an arch till the wind slides you sheer from the arch-crest and in a strange level fluttering you go out to sea-ward, white speck!


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

A Love Song

 Reject me not if I should say to you 
I do forget the sounding of your voice, 
I do forget your eyes that searching through 
The mists perceive our marriage, and rejoice.
Yet, when the apple-blossom opens wide Under the pallid moonlight's fingering, I see your blanched face at my breast, and hide My eyes from diligent work, malingering.
Ah, then, upon my bedroom I do draw The blind to hide the garden, where the moon Enjoys the open blossoms as they straw Their beauty for his taking, boon for boon.
And I do lift my aching arms to you, And I do lift my anguished, avid breast, And I do weep for very pain of you, And fling myself at the doors of sleep, for rest.
And I do toss through the troubled night for you, Dreaming your yielded mouth is given to mine, Feeling your strong breast carry me on into The peace where sleep is stronger even than wine.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

The End

 If I could have put you in my heart, 
If but I could have wrapped you in myself, 
How glad I should have been! 
And now the chart 
Of memory unrolls again to me 
The course of our journey here, before we had to part.
And oh, that you had never, never been Some of your selves, my love, that some Of your several faces I had never seen! And still they come before me, and they go, And I cry aloud in the moments that intervene.
And oh, my love, as I rock for you to-night, And have not any longer any hope To heal the suffering, or make requite For all your life of asking and despair, I own that some of me is dead to-night.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

A Baby Running Barefoot

 When the bare feet of the baby beat across the grass
The little white feet nod like white flowers in the wind, 
They poise and run like ripples lapping across the water;
And the sight of their white play among the grass 
Is like a little robin’s song, winsome,
Or as two white butterflies settle in the cup of one flower
For a moment, then away with a flutter of wings.
I long for the baby to wander hither to me Like a wind-shadow wandering over the water, So that she can stand on my knee With her little bare feet in my hands, Cool like syringa buds, Firm and silken like pink young peony flowers.


by David Herbert Lawrence | |

A Spiritual Woman

 Close your eyes, my love, let me make you blind; 
 They have taught you to see 
Only a mean arithmetic on the face of things, 
A cunning algebra in the faces of men, 
 And God like geometry 
Completing his circles, and working cleverly.
I'll kiss you over the eyes till I kiss you blind; If I can—if any one could.
Then perhaps in the dark you'll have got what you want to find.
You've discovered so many bits, with your clever eyes, And I'm a kaleidoscope That you shake and shake, and yet it won't come to your mind.
Now stop carping at me.
—But God, how I hate you! Do you fear I shall swindle you? Do you think if you take me as I am, that that will abate you Somehow?—so sad, so intrinsic, so spiritual, yet so cautious, you Must have me all in your will and your consciousness— I hate you.