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David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930)

The Grudge of the Old


              1The old ones want to be young, and they aren't young,
              2and it rankles, they ache when they see the young,
              3and they can't help wanting to spite it on them
              4venomously.

              5The old ones say to themselves: We are not going to be old,
              6we are not going to make way, we are not going to die,
              7we are going to stay on and on and on and on and on
              8and make the young look after us
              9till they are old. We are stronger than the young.
            10We have more energy, and our grip on life is harder.
            11Let us triumph, and let the young be listless
            12with their puny youth.
            13We are younger even now than the young, we can put their youth in abeyance.

            14And it is true.
            15And they do it.
            16And so it goes on.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: D. H. Lawrence, Pansies: Poems (London: Martin Secker, 1929): 93. PR 6023 A93P3 1929 Robarts Library
First publication date: 1929
Publication date note: See Roberts A47.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 4:2001/12/28

Composition date: 2 December 1928 - 15 December 1928
Composition date note: See Ellis, 587.
Form: free verse


Other poems by David Herbert Lawrence