by: D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
OURS is the shame and sorrow But the disgrace is mine; Your love was dark and thorough, Mine was the love of the sun for a flower He creates with his shine. I was diligent to explore you, Blossom you stalk by stalk, Till my fire of creation bore you Shrivelling down in the final dour Anguish--then I suffered a balk. I knew your pain, and it broke My fine, craftsman's nerve; Your body quailed at my stroke, And my courage failed to give you the last Fine torture you did deserve. You are shapely, you are adorned, But opaque and dull in the flesh, Who, had I but pierced with the thorned Fire-threshing anguish, were fused and cast In a lovely illumined mesh. Like a painted window: the best Suffering burnt through your flesh, Undressed it and left it blest With a quivering sweet wisdom of grace: but now Who shall take you afresh? Now who will burn you free, From your body's terrors and dross, Since the fire has failed in me? What man will stoop in your flesh to plough The shrieking cross? A mute, nearly beautiful thing Is your face, that fills me with shame As I see it hardening, Warping the perfect image of God, And darkening my eternal fame.
"Last Words to Miriam" is reprinted from Amores: Poems. D.H. Lawrence. New York: B.W. Huebsch, 1916.