Fidelity and love are two different things, like a flower and a gem. And love, like a flower, will fade, will change into something else or it would not be flowery. O flowers they fade because they are moving swiftly; a little torrent of life leaps up to the summit of the stem, gleams, turns over round the bend of the parabola of curved flight, sinks, and is gone, like a comet curving into the invisible. O flowers they are all the time travelling like comets, and they come into our ken for a day, for two days, and withdraw, slowly vanish again. And we, we must take them on the wind, and let them go. Embalmed flowers are not flowers, immortelles are not flowers; flowers are just a motion, a swift motion, a coloured gesture; that is their loveliness. And that is love. But a gem is different. It lasts so much longer than we do so much much much longer that it seems to last forever. Yet we know it is flowing away as flowers are, and we are, only slower. The wonderful slow flowing of the sapphire! All flows, and every flow is related to every other flow. Flowers and sapphires and us, diversely streaming. In the old days, when sapphires were breathed upon and brought forth during the wild orgasms of chaos time was much slower, when the rocks came forth. It took aeons to make a sapphire, aeons for it to pass away. And a flower it takes a summer. And man and woman are like the earth, that brings forth flowers in summer, and love, but underneath is rock. Older than flowers, older than ferns, [older than foraminiferae]1 older than plasm altogether is the soul of a man underneath. And when, throughout all the wild orgasms of love slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks of two human hearts, [two ancient rocks,]1 a man's heart and a woman's, that is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust, the sapphire of fidelity. The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.
O. Kortekangas sets stanzas 1, 10-12
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1 omitted by Kortekangas.
- by D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence (1885 - 1930), "Fidelity", appears in Pansies, first published 1928 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Olli Kortekangas (b. 1955), "A flower and a gem", stanzas 1,10-12, from Amores, no. 3. [text verified 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Eine Blüte und ein Edelstein", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 37
Word count: 354