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

38. Malade

THE SICK grapes on the chair by the bed lie prone; at the window

The tassel of the blind swings gently, tapping the pane,

As a little wind comes in.

The room is the hollow rind of a fruit, a gourd

Scooped out and dry, where a spider,

Folded in its legs as in a bed,

Lies on the dust, watching where is nothing to see but twilight and walls.

And if the day outside were mine! What is the day

But a grey cave, with great grey spider-cloths hanging

Low from the roof, and the wet dust falling softly from them

Over the wet dark rocks, the houses, and over

The spiders with white faces, that scuttle on the floor of the cave!

I am choking with creeping, grey confinedness.

But somewhere birds, beside a lake of light, spread wings

Larger than the largest fans, and rise in a stream upwards

And upwards on the sunlight that rains invisible,

So that the birds are like one wafted feather,

Small and ecstatic suspended over a vast spread country.