Home  »  Amores: Poems  »  40. Troth with the Dead

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

40. Troth with the Dead

THE MOON is broken in twain, and half a moon

Before me lies on the still, pale floor of the sky;

The other half of the broken coin of troth

Is buried away in the dark, where the still dead lie.

They buried her half in the grave when they laid her away;

I had pushed it gently in among the thick of her hair

Where it gathered towards the plait, on that very last day;

And like a moon in secret it is shining there.

My half shines in the sky, for a general sign

Of the troth with the dead I pledged myself to keep;

Turning its broken edge to the dark, it shines indeed

Like the sign of a lover who turns to the dark of sleep.

Against my heart the inviolate sleep breaks still

In darkened waves whose breaking echoes o’er

The wondering world of my wakeful day, till I’m lost

In the midst of the places I knew so well before.