For hands she hath none, nor eyes, nor feet, nor golden Treasure of hair . . .

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(para. 368, chapter 10) by Lawrence(the University of Adelaide,here):
(background: Connie was in her soft rapture and deeply attracted by Mellors' masculinity. Then followed the quotation below)

For hands she hath none, nor eyes, nor feet, nor golden Treasure of hair . . .

She was like a forest, like the dark interlacing of the oakwood, humming inaudibly with myriad unfolding buds. Meanwhile the birds of desire were asleep in the vast interlaced intricacy of her body.


I feel she refers to Connie, and I suspect the sentence in blue has a special meaning, even though I don't know what the meaning is, or why Lawrence said this sentence here.

Could please give me some explanations and tell me the meaning?
Thank you in advance
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    It is a quote from "The Pilgrims" by Algernon Charles Swinburne The Pilgrims by Algernon Charles Swinburne : The Poetry Foundation

    "Our lady of love by you is unbeholden;
    For hands she hath none, nor eyes, nor lips, nor golden
    Treasure of hair, nor face nor form; but we
    That love, we know her more fair than anything."


    The poem starts with
    Who is your lady of love, O ye that pass
    Singing? and is it for sorrow of that which was
    That ye sing sadly, or dream of what shall be?


    The bolded lines exactly describe Connie's thoughts and emotions as she sits.
     
    Last edited:

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you. But Connie did have hands, eyes, lips, hair and face. And anyone has. Why did Lawrence say she didn't have?
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Now I know the she in the poem represents love. But I think the she in She was like a forest, like the dark interlacing of the oakwood, humming inaudibly with myriad unfolding buds refers to Connie. Am I right?
    and is it for sorrow of that which was
    That ye sing sadly, or dream of what shall be?


    The bolded lines exactly describe Connie's thoughts and emotions as she sits.
    Sorry, my English is not good enough to understand the poem lines. What's Connie's thought please?
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Connie has just returned from making love with Mellors. She is still deeply and romantically effected by this and, whilst she sits with the boring Sir Clifford, her thoughts are not on what he is saying; her thoughts are of romantic love and her time with Mellors.

    The quotation that I gave in bold forms a rhetorical question describing Connie state of mind - she is sitting thinking of the love making and wondering about the relationship with Mellors into which she has so willingly and satisfyingly entered:

    and is it for sorrow of that which was / That ye sing sadly, or dream of what shall be? = are you sorrowful for/regretful of what has just happened or are you dreaming of/considering what will happen next?
    These lines encapsulate Connie's situation.

    ‘For hands she hath none, nor eyes, nor feet, nor golden Treasure of hair . . . ’ are a fragment of the poem that Connie is recalling as she sits - those lines are telling her about the nature of love.

    Lawrence assumes that his readers will know the poem and know how it starts. Connie does not think of the start of the poem, but it is the start that describes Connie's true situation and the dilemma that is before her.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hi Long
    Sorry, my English is not good enough to understand the poem lines.
    I thought you'd be pleased to know that mine isn't good enough either. :D Having to read Swinburne would be my idea of being punished for something I didn't do!
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top