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Short poem

David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930)

A Youth Mowing

              1There are four men mowing down by the Isar;
              2I can hear the swish of the scythe-strokes, four
              3Sharp breaths taken: yea, and I
              4Am sorry for what's in store.

              5The first man out of the four that's mowing
              6Is mine, I claim him once and for all;
              7Though it's sorry I am, on his young feet, knowing
              8None of the trouble he's led to stall.

              9As he sees me bringing the dinner, he lifts
            10His head as proud as a deer that looks
            11Shoulder-deep out of the corn; and wipes
            12His scythe-blade bright, unhooks

            13The scythe-stone and over the stubble to me.
            14Lad, thou hast gotten a child in me,
            15Laddie, a man thou'lt ha'e to be,
            16Yea, though I'm sorry for thee.


1] Isar: river flowing from the Tirol in Austria andinto the Danube in Germany.

14] thou: 2nd-person pronoun of affection.

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, Look! We Have Come Through! (London: Chatto and Windus, 1917): 61. PR 6023 A93 L6 Robarts Library. Roberts A10.
First publication date: November 1913
Publication date note: Smart Set (Nov. 1913). See Roberts C27
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 4:2002/1/12

Composition date: June 1912 - August 1912
Composition date note: June-August 1912 (See Kinkead-Weekes, 742, 768). Slightly revised Feb. 1928 (See Ellis, 579)
Rhyme: abcb dede fghf iiii

Other poems by David Herbert Lawrence