The Revolutionary

Look at them standing there in authority
  The pale-faces,
  As if it could have any effect any more.

  Pale-face authority,
  Caryatids,
  Pillars of white bronze standing rigid, lest the skies fall.

  What a job they've got to keep it up.
  Their poor, idealist foreheads naked capitals
  To the entablature of clouded heaven.

  When the skies are going to fall, fall they will
  In a great chute and rush of débâcle downwards.

  Oh and I wish the high and super-gothic heavens would come down now,
  The heavens above, that we yearn to and aspire to.

  I do not yearn, nor aspire, for I am a blind Samson.
  And what is daylight to me that I should look skyward?
  Only I grope among you, pale-faces, caryatids, as among a forest of pillars that hold up the dome of high ideal heaven
  Which is my prison,
  And all these human pillars of loftiness, going stiff, metallic-stunned with the weight of their responsibility
  I stumble against them.
  Stumbling-blocks, painful ones.

  To keep on holding up this ideal civilisation
  Must be excruciating: unless you stiffen into metal, when it is easier to stand stock rigid than to move.

  This is why I tug at them, individually, with my arm round their waist
  The human pillars.
  They are not stronger than I am, blind Samson.
  The house sways.

  I shall be so glad when it comes down.
  I am so tired of the limitations of their Infinite.
  I am so sick of the pretensions of the Spirit.
  I am so weary of pale-face importance.

  Am I not blind, at the round-turning mill?
  Then why should I fear their pale faces?
  Or love the effulgence of their holy light,
  The sun of their righteousness?

  To me, all faces are dark,
  All lips are dusky and valved.

  Save your lips, O pale-faces,
  Which are slips of metal,
  Like slits in an automatic-machine, you columns of give-and-take.

  To me, the earth rolls ponderously, superbly
  Coming my way without forethought or afterthought.
  To me, men's footfalls fall with a dull, soft rumble, ominous and lovely,
  Coming my way.

  But not your foot-falls, pale-faces,
  They are a clicketing of bits of disjointed metal
  Working in motion.

  To me, men are palpable, invisible nearnesses in the dark
  Sending out magnetic vibrations of warning, pitch-dark throbs of invitation.

  But you, pale-faces,
  You are painful, harsh-surfaced pillars that give off nothing except rigidity,
  And I jut against you if I try to move, for you are everywhere, and I am blind,
  Sightless among all your visuality,
  You staring caryatids.

  See if I don't bring you down, and all your high opinion
  And all your ponderous roofed-in erection of right and wrong
 Your particular heavens,
  With a smash.

  See if your skies aren't falling!
  And my head, at least, is thick enough to stand it, the smash.

  See if I don't move under a dark and nude, vast heaven
  When your world is in ruins, under your fallen skies.
  Caryatids, pale-faces.
  See if I am not Lord of the dark and moving hosts
  Before I die.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
64 Views

Translation

Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Український (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss this David Herbert Lawrence poem with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"The Revolutionary" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 1 Jun 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/7890/the-revolutionary>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

Other poems by

David Herbert Lawrence

»

Our favorite collection of

Famous Poets

»

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.