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Short poem

David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930)


              1Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
              2Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
              3A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
              4And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

              5In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
              6Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
              7To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
              8And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

              9So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
            10With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
            11Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
            12Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.


1] See Vivian de Sola Pinto, "D. H. Lawrence Letter-Writer and Craftsman in Verse," Renaissance and Modern Studies 1 (1957): 5-34 for a facsimile of a manuscript version of this poem.

10] appassionato: with great feeling.

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, New Poems (Oct. 1918; London: Martin Secker, August 1919): 29. PR 6023 A93N4 Robarts Library
First publication date: 1919
Publication date note: See Roberts A11
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 4:2002/1/8

Composition date: 1906 - 1908
Composition date note: See Kinkead-Weekes, 751
Rhyme: aabb

Other poems by David Herbert Lawrence