D.H. Lawrence on what we own vs. what we have

“Reive nothing away, and let nothing be reived from you. For reiver and bereaved alike break the root of the jasmine flower, and spit upon the Evening Star.

“Take nothing, to say: I have it! For you can possess nothing, not even peace.

“Nought is possessible, neither gold, nor land nor love, nor life, nor peace, nor even sorrow nor death, nor yet salvation.

“Say of nothing: It is mine.

“For the gold that is with thee lingers as a departing moon, looking across the way, saying: Lo! We are beholden of each other. Lo! for this little while, to each other thou and I are beholden.

“And thy land says to thee: Ah, my child of far-off father! Come, lift me, lift me a little while, that poppies and wheat may blow on the level wind that moves between my breast and thine! Then sink with me, and we will make one mound.

“And listen to thy love saying: Beloved! I am mown by thy sword like mown grass, and darkness is upon me, and the tremble of the Evening Star. And to me thou art darkness and nowhere. Oh thou, when thou risest up and goest thy way, speak to me, only say: The star rose between us.

“And say to thy life: Am I thine? Art thou mine? Am I the blue curve of day around thine uncurved night? Are my eyes the twilight of neither of us, where the star hangs? Is my upper lip the sunset and my lower lip the dawn, does the star tremble inside my mouth?

“And say to thy peace: Ah! risen, deathless star! Already the waters of dawn sweep over thee, and wash me away on the flood!

“And say to thy sorrow: Axe, thou art cutting me down!

“Yet did the spark fly from out of thy edge and my wound!

“Cut them, while I cover my face, father of the Star.

“And say to thy strength: Lo, the night is foaming up my feet and my loins, day is foaming down from my eyes and my mouth to the sea of my breast. Lo, they meet! My belly is a flood of power, that races in down the sluice of bone at my back, and a star hangs low on the flood, over a troubled dawn.

“And say to thy death: Be it so! I, and my soul, we come to thee, Evening Star. Flesh, go thou into the night. Spirit, farewell, ’tis the day. Leave me now. I go in last nakedness now to the nakedest Star.”

— D.H. Lawrence, The Plumed Serpent


Comments are closed