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Bay A Book of Poems   By: (1885-1930)

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D.H. Lawrence (1919) Bay: A Book of Poems

Transcriber's Note: These poems were first published by the Beaumont Press in a limited edition. Facsimile page images from the original publication, including facsimile images of the original coloured illustrations by Anne Estelle Rice, are freely available from the Internet Archive.


To Cynthia Asquith


GUARDS Where the trees rise like cliffs

THE LITTLE TOWN AT EVENING The chime of the bells

LAST HOURS The cool of an oak's unchequered shade

TOWN London

AFTER THE OPERA Down the stone stairs

GOING BACK The night turns slowly round

ON THE MARCH We are out on the open road

BOMBARDMENT The town has opened to the sun

WINTER LULL Because of the silent snow

THE ATTACK When we came out of the wood

OBSEQUIAL ODE Surely you've trodden straight

SHADES Shall I tell you, then, how it is?

BREAD UPON THE WATERS So you are lost to me

RUINATION The sun is bleeding its fires upon the mist

RONDEAU The hours have tumbled their leaden sands


WAR BABY The child like mustard seed

NOSTALGIA The waning moon looks upward



A Review in Hyde Park 1913. The Crowd Watches.

WHERE the trees rise like cliffs, proud and blue tinted in the distance, Between the cliffs of the trees, on the grey green park Rests a still line of soldiers, red motionless range of guards Smouldering with darkened busbies beneath the bay onets' slant rain.

Colossal in nearness a blue police sits still on his horse Guarding the path; his hand relaxed at his thigh, And skyward his face is immobile, eyelids aslant In tedium, and mouth relaxed as if smiling ineffable tedium!

So! So! Gaily a general canters across the space, With white plumes blinking under the evening grey sky. And suddenly, as if the ground moved The red range heaves in slow, magnetic reply.


The red range heaves and compulsory sways, ah see! in the flush of a march Softly impulsive advancing as water towards a weir from the arch Of shadow emerging as blood emerges from inward shades of our night Encroaching towards a crisis, a meeting, a spasm and throb of delight.

The wave of soldiers, the coming wave, the throbbing red breast of approach Upon us; dark eyes as here beneath the busbies glit tering, dark threats that broach Our beached vessel; darkened rencontre inhuman, and closed warm lips, and dark Mouth hair of soldiers passing above us, over the wreck of our bark.

And so, it is ebb time, they turn, the eyes beneath the busbies are gone. But the blood has suspended its timbre, the heart from out of oblivion Knows but the retreat of the burning shoulders, the red swift waves of the sweet Fire horizontal declining and ebbing, the twilit ebb of retreat.


THE chime of the bells, and the church clock striking eight Solemnly and distinctly cries down the babel of children still playing in the hay. The church draws nearer upon us, gentle and great In shadow, covering us up with her grey.

Like drowsy children the houses fall asleep Under the fleece of shadow, as in between Tall and dark the church moves, anxious to keep Their sleeping, cover them soft unseen.

Hardly a murmur comes from the sleeping brood, I wish the church had covered me up with the rest In the home place. Why is it she should exclude Me so distinctly from sleeping with those I love best?


THE cool of an oak's unchequered shade Falls on me as I lie in deep grass Which rushes upward, blade beyond blade, While higher the darting grass flowers pass Piercing the blue with their crocketed spires And waving flags, and the ragged fires Of the sorrel's cresset a green, brave town Vegetable, new in renown... Continue reading book >>

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