Unpublished Lawrence love poem is sold

AN UNPUBLISHED poem by D H Lawrence was sold yesterday for pounds 1,840, more than pounds 1,000 above its estimate.

The poem, thought to have been written in 1916 to his German wife, Frieda, is a deeply lyrical evocation of the power of romantic love, celebrated through the metaphor of nature.

Victoria Lynne, a specialist in the books department at Christie's, where the auction was held, described the poem as "quite typical of the love poems he wrote during that period". She added: "It's a celebration of his love for his wife, which he talks about as if of a paradise."

Lawrence wrote the poem, seemingly spontaneously, on a blank page of his own book, Love Poems and Others, which a friend had brought to him to sign. It was signed "D H Lawrence".

The friend, from India, was serving in the First World War, and Lawrence's strong feelings about the conflict are evident in the dedication he made above the poem. It reads: "To the Soldiers and Sailors who are made blind."

The book containing the handwritten poem was found in a house in India belonging to a descendant of Lawrence's friend. It was bought yesterday by a historical documents dealer from Cheltenham.

The poem reads:

I have found a place of

loneliness,

Lovelier than Lyonesse,

Lonelier than Paradise.

Full of a sweet stillness

Which no day can distress,

Never a noise transgress.

The full moon sank in state:

I heard her stand and wait

For her watchers to shut the gate.

Then I knew myself in a

wonderland,

All of darkness and falling

sand,

Of hours hard to understand.

Always waiting, again I knew,

The presence of the flowers that grew

Noiseless, their wonder noiseless blew:

And flushing kingfishers that flew

In soundless beauty - and the few

Shadows the passing wild-beast threw:

Eve discovered on the ground

Soft-given, strange, and never a sound,

To break the embrace that we have found.

The perfect Consummation,

The final, paradisal One

Recovered now the world was gone.

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