What might have happened between us that once, by the light of the moon…
Do you remember
How night after night swept level and low
Overhead, at home, and had not one star,
Nor one narrow gate for the moon to go
Forth to her field of November.
And you remember,
How towards the north a red blot on the sky
Burns like a blotch of anxiety
Over the forges, and small flames ply
Like ghosts the shadow of the ember.
Those were the days
When it was awful autumn to me,
When only there glowed on the dark of the sky
The red reflection of her agony,
My beloved smelting down in the blaze
Of death—my dearest
Love who had borne, and was now leaving me.
And I at the foot of her cross did suffer
My own gethsemane.
So I came to you,
And twice, after great kisses, I saw
The rim of the moon divinely rise
And strive to detach herself from the raw
Blackened edge of the skies.
Strive to escape;
With her whiteness revealing my sunken world
Tall and loftily shadowed. But the moon
Never magnolia-like unfurled
Her white, her lamp-like shape.
For you told me no,
And bade me not to ask for the dour
Communion, offering—“a better thing.”
So I lay on your breast for an obscure hour
Feeling your fingers go
Like a rhythmic breeze
Over my hair, and tracing my brows,
Till I knew you not from a little wind:
—I wonder now if God allows
Us only one moment his keys.
If only then
You could have unlocked the moon on the night,
And I baptized myself in the light
Of your love; we both have entered then the white
Pure passion, and never again.
I wonder if only
You had taken me then, how different
Life would have been: should I have spent
Myself in waste, and you have bent
Your pride, through being lonely?
Love Poems by DH Lawrence
Love Art – Study for Venus in Venus and Psyche (1865) by Jean-Desire-Gustave Courbet. Original from The Birmingham Museum.