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Odour of Chrysanthemums by D.H. Lawrence
Too far away, oh love, I know,  
To save me from this haunted road,  
Whose lofty roses break and blow  
On a night-sky bent with a load  
Of lights: each solitary rose,          
Each arc-lamp golden does expose  
Ghost beyond ghost of a blossom, shows  
Night blenched with a thousand snows.  
Of hawthorn and of lilac trees,  
White lilac; shows discoloured night        
Dripping with all the golden lees  
Laburnum gives back to light.  
And shows the red of hawthorn set  
On high to the purple heaven of night,  
Like flags in blenched blood newly wet,        
Blood shed in the noiseless fight.  
Of life for love and love for life,  
Of hunger for a little food,  
Of kissing, lost for want of a wife  
Long ago, long ago wooed.
   .   .   .   .   .   .        
Too far away you are, my love,  
To steady my brain in this phantom show  
That passes the nightly road above  
And returns again below.  
The enormous cliff of horse-chestnut trees        
  Has poised on each of its ledges  
An ***** small girl looking down at me;  
White-night-gowned little chits I see,  
  And they peep at me over the edges  
Of the leaves as though they would leap, should I call        
  Them down to my arms;  
"But, child, you're too small for me, too small  
  Your little charms."  
White little sheaves of night-gowned maids,  
  Some other will thresh you out!          
And I see leaning from the shades  
A lilac like a lady there, who braids  
  Her white mantilla about  
Her face, and forward leans to catch the sight  
    Of a man's face,          
Gracefully sighing through the white  
    Flowery mantilla of lace.  
And another lilac in purple veiled  
  Discreetly, all recklessly calls  
In a low, shocking perfume, to know who has hailed  
Her forth from the night: my strength has failed  
  In her voice, my weak heart falls:  
Oh, and see the laburnum shimmering  
    Her draperies down,  
As if she would slip the gold, and glimmering        
    White, stand naked of gown.
   .   .   .   .   .   .  
The pageant of flowery trees above  
  The street pale-passionate goes,  
And back again down the pavement, Love  
  In a lesser pageant flows.          
Two and two are the folk that walk,  
  They pass in a half embrace  
Of linked bodies, and they talk  
  With dark face leaning to face.  
Come then, my love, come as you will          
  Along this haunted road,  
Be whom you will, my darling, I shall  
  Keep with you the troth I trowed.
Book: Odour of Chrysanthemums by D.H. Lawrence
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