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Short poem

David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930)


              1I will give you all my keys,
              2     You shall be my châtelaine,
              3You shall enter as you please,
              4     As you please shall go again.

              5When I hear you jingling through
              6     All the chambers of my soul,
              7How I sit and laugh at you
              8     In your vain housekeeping rôle.

              9Jealous of the smallest cover,
            10     Angry at the simplest door;
            11Well, you anxious, inquisitive lover,
            12     Are you pleased with what's in store?

            13You have fingered all my treasures,
            14     Have you not, most curiously,
            15Handled all my tools and measures
            16     And masculine machinery?

            17Over every single beauty
            18     You have had your little rapture;
            19You have slain, as was your duty,
            20     Every sin-mouse you could capture.

            21Still you are not satisfied,
            22     Still you tremble faint reproach;
            23Challenge me I keep aside
            24     Secrets that you may not broach.

            25Maybe yes, and maybe no,
            26     Maybe there are secret places,
            27Altars barbarous below,
            28     Elsewhere halls of high disgraces.

            29Maybe yes, and maybe no,
            30     You may have it as you please,
            31Since I choose to keep you so,
            32     Suppliant on your curious knees.


1] Gilbert says that Lawrence is here describing Louie Burrows, his fiancée (31).

2] châtelaine: female owner or keeper of a house or castle.

8] vain: revised by Lawrence to read "close" in the 1928 Collected Poems.

31-32] The last two lines are revised by Lawrence in the 1928 Collected Poems as follows:

Since you are so keen to know
Everything, Miss Ill-at-ease!
Other minor changes in punctuation also appear.

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, Amores: Poems (London: Duckworth, [1921]): 1-3. PR 6023 A93A7 Robarts Library. Roberts A9.
First publication date: 1914
Publication date note: As "Teasing," Poetry and Drama (Dec. 1914). Roberts C36
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 4:2002/1/8

Composition date: 1911
Composition date note: Revised November 1927 (See Kinkead-Weekes, 750)
Rhyme: abab

Other poems by David Herbert Lawrence