Shadows

D H Lawrence

And if tonight my soul may find her peace
in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.

And if, as weeks go round, in the dark of the moon
my spirit darkens and goes out, and soft strange gloom
pervades my movements and my thoughts and words
then I shall know that I am walking still
with God, we are close together now the moon's in shadow.

And if, as autumn deepens and darkens
I feel the pain of falling leaves, and stems that break in storms
and trouble and dissolution and distress
and then the softness of deep shadows folding,
folding around my soul and spirit, around my lips
so sweet, like a swoon, or more like the drowse of a low, sad song
singing darker than the nightingale, on, on to the solstice
and the silence of short days, the silence of the year, the shadow,
then I shall know that my life is moving still
with the dark earth, and drenched
with the deep oblivion of earth's lapse and renewal.

And if, in the changing phases of man's life
I fall in sickness and in misery
my wrists seem broken and my heart seems dead
and strength is gone, and my life
is only the leavings of a life:

and still, among it all, snatches of lovely oblivion, and snatches
of renewal
odd, wintry flowers upon the withered stem, yet new, strange flowers
such as my life has not brought forth before, new blossoms of me

then I must know that still
I am in the hands of the unknown God,
he is breaking me down to his own oblivion
to send me forth on a new morning, a new man.

Comments

Mike said…
I discovered this poem about 15 years ago whilst in a dark depression. It continues to help me today, to find perspective. It wraps despair and struggle with beauty...
Suz. said…
Brilliant poem.
ChrisJ said…
Had no idea D. H. Lawrence wrote such beautiful poetry or perhaps I'm confusing him with someone else. Will have to refresh my memory from years gone by --many years!
Steve said…
Amazing that one who is not noted for his awareness of spirituality could write something so deeply spiritual. Thanks for this.
Abbey said…
Absolutely stunning! This is one of the most beautiful poems I have ever read. Pray that you are well and at peace.

Be blessed,
Abbey ♥
Pietro said…
Thanks for sharing this fine and deep poem.