劳伦斯（1885-1930）是二十世纪英国最独特和最有争议的作家之一。他生于诺丁汉一个矿工家庭，二十一岁时入诺丁汉大学学习，一生中创作了四十余部小说、诗歌、游记等作品，《儿子与情人》被认为是其最好的小说。劳伦斯提倡人性自由发展，反对工业文明对自然的破坏。他的作品对家庭、婚姻和性进行了深入探索，对20世纪的小说写作产生了广泛影响。她是英国诗人、小说家、散文家，曾在国内外漂泊十多年。他写过诗，但主要写长篇小说，共有 10 部，最著名的为《虹》（ 1915 ）、《恋爱中的女人》（ 1921 ）和《查特莱夫人的情人》（ 1928 ）
She went out one evening, numbed by this constantessential suffering. Those who are timed for destruction must die now. The knowledge of this reached a finality, a finishing in her. And the finality released her. If fate would carry off in death or downfall all those who were timed to go, why need she trouble, why repudiate any further. She was free of it all, she could seek a new union elsewhere.
Ursula set off to Willey Green, towards the mill. She came to Willey Water. It was almost full again, after its period of emptiness. Then she turned off through the woods. The night had fallen, it was dark. But she forgot to be afraid, she who had such great sources of fear. Among the trees, far from any human beings, there was a sort of magic peace. The more one could find a pure loneliness, with no taint of people, the better one felt. She was in reality terrified, horrified in her apprehension of people.
She started, noticing something on her right hand, between the tree trunks. It was like a great presence, watching her, dodging her. She started violently. It was only the moon, risen through the thin trees. But it seemed so mysterious, with its white and deathly smile. And there was no avoiding it. Night or day, one could not escape the sinister face, triumphant and radiant like this moon, with a high smile. She hurried on, cowering from the white planet. She would just see the pond at the mill before she went home.
Not wanting to go through the yard, because of the dogs, she turned off along the hill-side to descend on the pond from above. The moon was transcendent over the bare, open space, she suffered from being exposed to it. There was a glimmer of nightly rabbits across the ground. The night was as clear as crystal, and very still. She could hear a distant coughing of a sheep.
So she swerved down to the steep, tree-hidden bank above the pond, where the alders twisted their roots. She was glad to pass into the shade out of the moon. There she stood, at the top of the fallen-away bank, her hand on the rough trunk of a tree, looking at the water, that was perfect in its stillness, floating the moon upon it. But for some reason she disliked it. It did not give her anything. She listened for the hoarse rustle of the sluice. And she wished for something else out of the night, she wanted another night, not this moon-brilliant hardness. She could feel her soul crying out in her, lamenting desolately.
She saw a shadow moving by the water. It would be Birkin. He had come back then, unawares. She accepted it without remark, nothing mattered to her. She sat down among the roots of the alder tree, dim and veiled, hearing the sound of the sluice like dew distilling audibly into the night. The islands were dark and half revealed, the reeds were dark also, only some of them had a little frail fire of reflection. A fish leaped secretly, revealing the light in the pond. This fire of the chill night breaking constantly on to the pure darkness, repelled her. She wished it were perfectly dark, perfectly, and noiseless and without motion. Birkin, small and dark also, his hair tinged with moonlight, wandered nearer. He was quite near, and yet he did not exist in her. He did not know she was there. Supposing he did something he would not wish to be seen doing, thinking he was quite private? But there, what did it matter? What did the small priyacies matter? How could it matter, what he did? How can there be any secrets, we are all the same organisms? How can there be any secrecy, when everything is known to all of us?
He was touching unconsciously the dead husks of flowers as he passed by, and talking disconnectedly to himself.
’You can’t go away,’ he was saying. ‘There IS no away. You only withdraw upon yourself.’
He threw a dead flower-husk on to the water. ’
An antiphony—they lie, and you sing back to them. There wouldn’t have to be any truth, if there weren’t any lies. Then one needn’t assert anything—’
He stood still, looking at the water, and throwing upon it the husks of the flowers.
’Cybele—curse her! The accursed Syria Dea! Does one begrudge it her? What else is there—?’
Ursula wanted to laugh loudly and hysterically, hearing his isolated voice speaking out. It was so ridiculous.
He stood staring at the water. Then he stooped and picked up a stone, which he threw sharply at the pond. Ursula was aware of the bright moon leaping and swaying, all distorted, in her eyes. It seemed to shoot out arms of fire like a cuttle-fish, like a luminous polyp, palpitating strongly before her.
And his shadow on the border of the pond, was watching for a few moments, then he stooped and groped on the ground. Then again there was a burst of sound, and a burst of brilliant light, the moon had exploded on the water, and was flying asunder in flakes of white and dangerous fire. Rapidly, like white birds, the fires all broken rose across the pond, fleeing in clamorous confusion, battling with the flock of dark waves that were forcing their way in. The furthest waves of light, fleeing out, seemed to be clamouring against the shore for escape, the waves of darkness came in heavily, running under towards the centre. But at the centre, the heart of all, was still a vivid, incandescent quivering of a white moon not quite destroyed, a white body of fire writhing and striving and not even now broken open, not yet violated. It seemed to be drawing itself together with strange, violent pangs, in blind effort. It was getting stronger, it was reasserting itself, the inviolable moon. And the rays were hastening in in thin lines of light, to return to the strengthened moon, that shook upon the water in triumphant reassumption.
Birkin stood and watched, motionless, till the pond was almost calm, the moon was almost serene. Then, satisfied of so much, he looked for more stones. She felt his invisible tenacity. And in a moment again, the broken lights scattered in explosion over her face, dazzling her; and then, almost immediately, came the second shot. The moon leapt up white and burst through the air. Darts of bright light shot asunder, darkness swept over the centre. There was no moon, only a battlefield of broken lights and shadows, running close together. Shadows, dark and heavy, struck again and again across the place where the heart of the moon had been, obliterating it altogether. The white fragments pulsed up and down, and could not find where to go, apart and brilliant on the water like the petals of a rose that a wind has blown far and wide.
Yet again, they were flickering their way to the centre, finding the path blindly, enviously. And again, all was still,as Birkin and Ursula watched. The waters were loud on the shore. He saw the moon regathering itself insidiously, saw the heart of the rose intertwining vigorously and blindly, calling back the scattered fragments, winning home the fragments, in a pulse and in effort of return.
And he was not satisfied. Like a madness, he must go on. He got large stones, and threw them, one after the other, at the white-burning centre of the moon, till there was nothing but a rocking of hollow noise, and a pond surged up, no moon any more, only a few broken flakes tangled and glittering broadcast in the darkness, without aim or meaning, a darkened confusion, like a black and white kaleidoscope tossed at random. The hollow night was rocking and crashing with noise, and from the sluice came sharp, regular flashes of sound. Flakes of light appeared here and there, glittering tormented among theshadows, far off, in strange places; among the dripping shadow of the willow on the island. Birkin stood and listened and was satisfied.
Ursula was dazed, her mind was all gone. She felt she had fallen to the ground and was spilled out, like water on the earth. Motionless and spent she remained in the gloom. Though even now she was aware, unseeing, that in the darkness was a little tumult of ebbing flakes of light, a cluster dancing secretly in a round, twining and coming steadily together. They were gathering a heart again, they were coming once more into being. Gradually the fragments caught together re-united, heaving, rocking, dancing, falling back as in panic, but working their way home again persistently, making semblance of fleeing awaywhen they had advanced, but always flickering nearer, a little closer to the mark, the cluster growing mysteriously larger and brighter, as gleam after gleam fell in with the whole, until a ragged rose, a distorted, frayed moon was shaking upon the waters again, re-asserted, renewed, trying to recover from its convulsion, to get over the disfigurement and the agitation, to be whole and composed, at peace.
Birkin lingered vaguely by the water. Ursula was afraid that he would stone the moon again. She slipped from her seat and went down to him, saying:
’You won’t throw stones at it any more, will you?’
’How long have you been there?’
’All the time. You won’t throw any more stones, will you?’
’I wanted to see if I could make it be quite gone off the pond,’ he said.
’Yes, it was horrible, really. Why should you hate the moon? It hasn’t done you any harm, has it?’
’Was it hate?’ he said.
And they were silent for a few minutes.
’When did you come back?’ she said.
’Why did you never write?’
’I could find nothing to say.’
’Why was there nothing to say?’
’I don’t know. Why are there no daffodils now?’
Again there was a space of silence. Ursula looked at the moon. It had gathered itself together, and was quivering slightly.
’Was it good for you, to be alone?’ she asked.
’Perhaps. Not that I know much. But I got over a good deal. Did you do anything important?’
’No. I looked at England, and thought I’d done with it.’
’Why England?’ he asked in surprise.
’I don’t know, it came like that.’
’It isn’t a question of nations,’ he said. ‘France is far worse.’
’Yes, I know. I felt I’d done with it all.’
They went and sat down on the roots of the trees, in the shadow. And being silent, he remembered the beauty of her eyes, which were sometimes filled with light, like spring, suffused with wonderful promise. So he said to her, slowly, with difficulty:
’There is a golden light in you, which I wish you would give me.’ It was as if he had been thinking of this for some time.
She was startled, she seemed to leap clear of him. Yet also she was pleased.
’What kind of a light,’ she asked.
But he was shy, and did not say any more. So the moment passed for this time. And gradually a feeling of sorrow came over her.
’My life is unfulfilled,’ she said.
’Yes,’ he answered briefly, not wanting to hear this.
’And I feel as if nobody could ever really love me,’ she said.
But he did not answer.
’You think, don’t you,’ she said slowly, ‘that I only want physical things? It isn’t true. I want you to serve my spirit.’
’I know you do. I know you don’t want physical things by themselves. But, I want you to give me—to give your spirit to me —that golden light which is you—which you don’t know—give it me—’
After a moment’s silence she replied:
’But how can I, you don’t love me! You only want your own ends. You don’t want to serve ME, and yet you want me to serve you. It is so one-sided!’
It was a great effort to him to maintain this conversation, and to press for the thing he wanted from her, the surrender of her spirit.
’It is different,’ he said. ‘The two kinds of service are so different. I serve you in another way—not through YOURSELF—somewhere else. But I want us to be together without bothering about ourselves—to be really together because we ARE together, as if it were a phenomenon, not a not a thing we have to maintain by our own effort.’
’No,’ she said, pondering. ‘You are just egocentric. You never have any enthusiasm, you never come out with any spark towards me. You want yourself, really, and your own affairs. And you want me just to be there, to serve you.’
But this only made him shut off from her.
’Ah well,’ he said, ‘words make no matter, any way. The thing IS between us, or it isn’t.’
’You don’t even love me,’ she cried.
’I do,’ he said angrily. ‘But I want—’ His mind saw again the lovely golden light of spring transfused through her eyes, as through some wonderful window. And he wanted her to be with him there, in this world of proud indifference. But what was the good of telling her he wanted this company in proud indifference. What was the good of talking, any way? It must happen beyond the sound of words. It was merely ruinous to try to work her by conviction. This was a paradisal bird that could never
be netted, it must fly by itself to the heart.
’I always think I am going to be loved—and then I am let down. You DON’T love me, you know. You don’t want to serve me.
You only want yourself.’