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Débâcle

From New Poems (1916).

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,
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,
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
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.

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
That saves the blue grain of eternal fire
Within its quick, committed to hold and wait
And suffer unheeding, only forbidden to expire.



D.H. Lawrence


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