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David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930)

Swan


              1Far-off
              2at the core of space
              3at the quick
              4of time
              5beats
              6and goes still
              7the great swan upon the waters of all endings
              8the swan within vast chaos, within the electron.

              9For us
            10no longer he swims calmly
            11nor clacks across the forces furrowing a great gay trail
            12of happy energy,
            13nor is he nesting passive upon the atoms,
            14nor flying north desolative icewards
            15to the sleep of ice,
            16nor feeding in the marshes,
            17nor honking horn-like into the twilight. --

            18But he stoops, now
            19in the dark
            20upon us;
            21he is treading our women
            22and we men are put out
            23as the vast white bird
            24furrows our featherless women
            25with unknown shocks
            26and stamps his black marsh-feet on their white and marshy flesh.


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): 26. 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: 4:2002/1/8

Composition date: 2 December 1928 - 15 December 1928
Composition date note: See Ellis, 589
Form: Free Verse


Other poems by David Herbert Lawrence