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Embankment at Night, before the War - Charity
Embankment at Night, before the War - Charity, by D.H. Lawrence
in english
BY the river 
In the black wet night as the furtive rain slinks down, 
Dropping and starting from sleep 
Alone on a seat 
A woman crouches.         5
I must go back to her. 
I want to give her 
Some money. Her hand slips out of the breast of her gown 
Asleep. My fingers creep 
Carefully over the sweet  10
Thumb-mound, into the palm’s deep pouches. 
So, the gift! 
God, how she starts! 
And looks at me, and looks in the palm of her hand! 
And again at me!  15
I turn and run 
Down the Embankment, run for my life. 
But why?—why? 
Because of my heart’s 
Beating like sobs, I come to myself, and stand  20
In the street spilled over splendidly 
With wet, flat lights. What I’ve done 
I know not, my soul is in strife. 
The touch was on the quick. I want to forget. 
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