Coldness in Love

 Coldness in Love

 

D. H. Lawrence

And you remember, in the afternoon

The sea and the sky went grey, as if there had sunk

A flocculent dust on the floor of the world: the festoon

Of the sky sagged dusty as spider cloth,

And coldness clogged the sea, till it ceased to croon.

 

A dank, sickening scent came up from the grime

Of weed that blackened the shore, so that I recoiled

Feeling the raw cold dun me: and all the time

You leapt about on the slippery rocks, and threw

Me words that rang with a brassy, shallow chime.

 

And all day long, that raw and ancient cold

Deadened me through, till the grey downs dulled to sleep.

Then I longed for you with your mantle of love to fold

Me over, and drive from out of my body the deep

Cold that had sunk to my soul, and there kept hold.

 

But still to me all evening long you were cold,

And I was numb with a bitter, deathly ache;

Till old days drew me back into their fold,

And dim hopes crowded me warm with companionship,

And memories clustered me close, and sleep was cajoled.

 

And I slept till dawn at the window blew in like dust,

Like a linty, raw-cold dust disturbed from the floor

Of the unswept sea; a grey pale light like must

That settled upon my face and hands till it seemed

To flourish there, as pale mould blooms on a crust.

 

And I rose in fear, needing you fearfully.

For I thought you were warm as a sudden jet of blood.

I thought I could plunge in your living hotness, and be

Clean of the cold and the must. With my hand on the latch

I heard you in your sleep speak strangely to me.

 

And I dared not enter, feeling suddenly dismayed.

So I went and washed my deadened flesh in the sea

And came back tingling clean, but worn and frayed

With cold, like the shell of the moon; and strange it seems

That my love can dawn in warmth again, unafraid.

 

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