by D. H. Lawrence
ENGLAND seems full of graves to me,
Full of graves.
Women I loved and cherished, like my mother;
Yet I had to tell them to die.
England seems covered with graves to me.
Women who were gentle
And who loved me
And whom I loved
And told to die.
Women with the beautiful eyes of the old days,
Belief in love, and sorrow of such belief.
"_Hush, my love, then, hush.
Hush, and die, my dear_!"
Women of the older generation, who knew
The full doom of loving and not being able to take back.
Who understood at last what it was to be told to die.
Now that the graves are made, and covered;
Now that in England pansies and such-like grow on the
graves of women;
Now that in England is silence, where before was a moving
of soft-skirted women,
Women with eyes that were gentle in olden belief in
Now then that all their yearning is hushed, and covered
over with earth.
England seems like one grave to me.
And I, I sit on this high American desert
With dark-wrapped Rocky Mountains motionless squatting
around in a ring,
Remembering I told them to die, to sink into the grave in
The gentle-kneed women.
So now I whisper: _Come away,
Come away from the place of graves, come west,
Women whom I loved and told to die.
Come back to me now,
Now the divided yearning is over;
Now you are husbandless indeed, no more husband to cherish like
And wrestle tvith for the prize of perfect love.
No more children to launch in a world you mistrust.
Now you need know in part
No longer, or carry the burden of a man on your heart,
Or the burden of Man writ large.
Now you are disemburdened of Man and a man
Come back to me.
Now you are free of the toils of a would-be-perfect love
Come to me and be still_.
Come back then, you who were wives and mothers
And always virgins
Come back then, mother, my love, whom I told to die.
It was only I who saw the virgin you
That had no home.
The overlooked virgin,
You overlooked her too.
Now that the grave is made of mother and wife,
Now that the grave is made and lidded over with turf.
_Come, delicate, overlooked virgin, come back to me
And be still,
I didn't tell you to die, for nothing.
I wanted the virgin you to be home at last
In my heart.
Inside my innermost heart,
Where the virgin in woman comes home to a man.
The homeless virgin
Who never in all her life could find the way home
To that difficult innermost place in a man.
_Now come west, come home,
Women I've loved for gentleness,
For the virginal you.
Find the way now that you never could find in life,
So I told you to die_.
Virginal first and last
_Now at this last, my love, my many a love,
You whom I loved for gentleness,
Come home to me_.
They are many, and I loved them, shall always love them,
And they know it,
And my heart is glad to have them at last.
Now that the wife and mother and mistress is buried in earth,
In English earth,
_Come home to me, my love, my loves, my many loves,
Come west to me_.
For virgins are not exclusive of virgins
As wives are of wives;
And motherhood is jealous,
But in virginity jealousy does not enter.
Last updated January 14, 2019