See the stars, love,
In the water much clearer and brighter
Than those above us, and whiter,
Star-shadows shine, love,
How many stars in your bowl?
How many shadows in your soul,
Only mine, love, mine?
When I move the oars, love,
See how the stars are tossed,
Distorted, the brightest lost.
–So that bright one of yours, love.
The poor waters spill
The stars, waters broken, forsaken.
–The heavens are not shaken, you say, love,
Its stars stand still.
There, did you see
That spark fly up at us; even
Stars are not safe in heaven.
–What of yours, then, love, yours?
What then, love, if soon
Your light be tossed over a wave?
Will you count the darkness a grave,
And swoon, love, swoon?
Lawrence was a rebellious and profoundly polemical writer with radical views, who regarded sex, the primitive subconscious, and nature as cures to what he considered the evils of modern industrialized society. Tremendously prolific, his work was often uneven in quality, and he was a continual source of controversy.