D H Lawrence Poems >>
He-Goat

SEE his black nose snubbed back, pressed over like a whale's
    blow-holes,
As if his nostrils were going to curve back to the root of
    his tail.

As he charges slow among the herd
And rows among the females like a ship pertinaciously,
Heavy with a rancid cargo, through the lesser ships--
Old father
Sniffing forever ahead of him, at the rear of the goats, that
    they lift the little door,
And rowing on, unarrived, no matter how often he enter:
Like a big ship pushing her bowsprit over the little ships
Then swerving and steering afresh
And never, never arriving at journey's end, at the rear of the
    female ships.

Yellow eyes incomprehensible with thin slits
To round-eyed us.

Yet if you had whorled horns of bronze in a frontal dark wall
At the end of a back-bone ridge, like a straight sierra
    roquena,
And nerves urging forward to the wall, you'd have eyes like
    his,
Especially if, being given a needle's eye of egress elsewhere
You tried to look back to it, and couldn't.

Sometimes he turns with a start, to fight, to challenge, to
    suddenly butt.
And then you see the God that he is, in a cloud of black
    hair
And storm-lightning-slitted eye.
Splendidly planting his feet, one rocky foot striking the
    ground with a sudden rock-hammer announcement.

_I am here_!
And suddenly lowering his head, the whorls of bone and of
    horn
Slowly revolving towards unexploded explosion,
As from the stem of his bristling, lightning-conductor
    tail
In a rush up the shrieking duct of his vertebral way
Runs a rage drawn in from the other divinely through
    him
Towards a shock and a crash and a smiting of horns
    ahead.

That is a grand old lust of his, to gather the great
Rage of the sullen-stagnating atmosphere of goats
And bring it hurtling to a head, with crash of horns against
    the horns
Of the opposite enemy goat,
Thus hammering the mettle of goats into proof, and smiting
    out
The godhead of goats from the shock.
Things of iron are beaten on the anvil,
And he-goat is anvil to he-goat, and hammer to he-goat
In the business of beating the mettle of goats to a god-
    head.

But they've taken his enemy from him
And left him only his libidinousness,
His nostrils turning back, to sniff at even himself
And his slitted eyes seeking the needle's eye,
His own, unthreaded, forever.

So it is, when they take the enemy from us,
And we can't fight.

He is not fatherly, like the bull, massive Providence of hot
    blood;
The goat is an egoist, aware of himself, devilish aware of
    himself,
And full of malice prepense, and overweening, determined
    to stand on the highest peak
Like the devil, and look on the world as his own.

And as for love:
With a needle of long red flint he stabs in the dark
At the living rock he is up against;
While she with her goaty mouth stands smiling the while as
    he strikes, since sure
He will never _quite_ strike home, on the target-quick, for her
    quick
Is just beyond range of the arrow he shoots
From his leap at the zenith in her, so it falls just short of the
    mark, far enough.
It is over before it is finished.
She, smiling with goaty munch-mouth, Mona Lisa, arranges
    it so.

Orgasm after orgasm after orgasm
And he smells so rank and his nose goes back,
And never an enemy brow-metalled to thresh it out with in
    the open field;
Never a mountain peak, to be king of the castle.
Only those eternal females to overleap and surpass, and
    never succeed.

The involved voluptuousness of the soft-footed cat
Who is like a fur folding a fur,
The cat who laps blood, and knows
The soft welling of blood invincible even beyond bone or
    metal of bone.

The soft, the secret, the unfathomable blood
The cat has lapped
And known it subtler than frisson-shaken nerves,
Stronger than multiplicity of bone on bone
And darker than even the arrows of violentest will
Can pierce, for that is where will gives out, like a sinking
    stone that can sink no further.

But he-goat,
Black procreant male of the selfish will and libidinous desire,
God in black cloud with curving horns of bronze,
Find an enemy, Egoist, and clash the cymbals in face-to-face
    defiance,
And let the lightning out of your smothered dusk.

Forget the female herd for a bit,
And fight to be boss of the world.
Fight, old Satan with a selfish will, fight for your selfish will;
Fight to be the devil on the tip of the peak
Overlooking the world for his own.

But bah, how can he, poor domesticated beast!