“Perfidy” by D.H. Lawrence


Hollow rang the house when I knocked at the door,

And I lingered on the threshold with my hand

Upraised to knock and knock once more :

Listening for the sound of her feet across the floor,

Hollow re-echoed my heart.


The low-hung lamps stretched down the road

With shadows drifting underneath,

With a music of soft, melodious feet

Quickening my hope as I hastened to meet

The lowhung light of her eyes.


The golden lamps down the street went out,

The last car trailed the night behind,

And I in the darkness wandered about

With a flutter of hope and of dark-shut doubt

In the dying lamp of my love.


Two brown ponies trotting slowly

Stopped at the dim-lit trough to drink.

The dark van drummed down the distance slowly,

And city stars so high and holy

Drew nearer to look in the streets.


A hasting car swept shameful past.

I saw her hid in the shadow,

I saw her step to the curb, and fast

Run to the silent door, where last

I had stood with my hand uplifted.

She clung to the door in her haste to enter,

Entered, and quickly cast

It shut behind her, leaving the street aghast.


D.H. Lawrence's poem "Perfidy" was published in the 1916 Some Imagist Poets anthology. To read this poem in a digitized version of this publication, follow the links below:

The Modernist Journals Project

Project Gutenberg (text version)