A Youth Mowing
There are four men mowing down by the Isar;
I can hear the swish of the scythe-strokes, four
Sharp breaths taken: yea, and I
Am sorry for what’s in store.
The first man out of the four that’s mowing
Is mine, I claim him once and for all;
Though it’s sorry I am, on his young feet, knowing
None of the trouble he’s led to stall.
As he sees me bringing the dinner he lifts
His head as proud as a deer that looks
Shoulder-deep out of the corn; and wipes
His scythe-blade bright, unhooks
The scythe-stone and over the stubble to me.
Lad, thou hast gotten a child in me,
Laddie, a man thou’lt ha’e to be,
Yea, though I’m sorry for thee.
Not one of Lawrence’s more anthologised poems, but I love how its spare ballad-like quality combines with the lyricism of the third stanza to give a wryly beautiful take on the male-female dynamic.