Home  »  Amores: Poems  »  30. Drunk

D.H. Lawrence (1885–1930). Amores. 1916.

30. Drunk

TOO far away, oh love, I know,

To save me from this haunted road,

Whose lofty roses break and blow

On a night-sky bent with a load

Of lights: each solitary rose,

Each arc-lamp golden does expose

Ghost beyond ghost of a blossom, shows

Night blenched with a thousand snows.

Of hawthorn and of lilac trees,

White lilac; shows discoloured night

Dripping with all the golden lees

Laburnum gives back to light.

And shows the red of hawthorn set

On high to the purple heaven of night,

Like flags in blenched blood newly wet,

Blood shed in the noiseless fight.

Of life for love and love for life,

Of hunger for a little food,

Of kissing, lost for want of a wife

Long ago, long ago wooed.
. . . . . .

Too far away you are, my love,

To steady my brain in this phantom show

That passes the nightly road above

And returns again below.

The enormous cliff of horse-chestnut trees

Has poised on each of its ledges

An erect small girl looking down at me;

White-night-gowned little chits I see,

And they peep at me over the edges

Of the leaves as though they would leap, should I call

Them down to my arms;

“But, child, you’re too small for me, too small

Your little charms.”

White little sheaves of night-gowned maids,

Some other will thresh you out!

And I see leaning from the shades

A lilac like a lady there, who braids

Her white mantilla about

Her face, and forward leans to catch the sight

Of a man’s face,

Gracefully sighing through the white

Flowery mantilla of lace.

And another lilac in purple veiled

Discreetly, all recklessly calls

In a low, shocking perfume, to know who has hailed

Her forth from the night: my strength has failed

In her voice, my weak heart falls:

Oh, and see the laburnum shimmering

Her draperies down,

As if she would slip the gold, and glimmering

White, stand naked of gown.
. . . . . .

The pageant of flowery trees above

The street pale-passionate goes,

And back again down the pavement, Love

In a lesser pageant flows.

Two and two are the folk that walk,

They pass in a half embrace

Of linkèd bodies, and they talk

With dark face leaning to face.

Come then, my love, come as you will

Along this haunted road,

Be whom you will, my darling, I shall

Keep with you the troth I trowed.