National Register of Historic Places Continuation Sheet

TEXTS: Poetry, Prose, and Letters

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TEXTS: Poetry, Prose, and Letters

(Located in the pages immediately following)
1. Poem "Autumn at Taos,” by D.H. Lawrence (1923)
2. Letter from D.H. Lawrence to Margaret King (1924)—see also Appendix A
3. Letter from D.H. Lawrence to Catherine Carswell (1924)
4. Excerpt from "Pan in America," by D.H. Lawrence (written 1924)
5. Letter from D.H. Lawrence to Emily Lawrence King (1925)



by D.H. Lawrence

Over the rounded sides of the Rockies, the aspens of autumn,

The aspens of autumn,

Like yellow hair of a tigress brindled with pines.

Down on my hearth rug of desert, sage of the mesa,

An ash grey pelt

Of wolf all hairy and level, a wolf's wild pelt.

Trot trot to the mottled foot hills, cedar mottled and pinon;

Did you ever see an otter?

Silvery sided, fish fanged, fierce faced, whiskered, mottled.

When I trot my little pony through the aspen trees of the canyon,

Behold me trotting at ease betwixt the slopes of the golden

Great and glistening feathered legs of the hawk of Horus;

The golden hawk of Horus

Astride above me.
But under the pines

I go slowly

As under the hairy belly of a great black bear.
Glad to emerge and look back

On the yellow, pointed aspen trees laid one on another like feathers,

Feather over feather on the breast of the great and golden

Hawk as I say of Horus.

Pleased to be out in the sage and the pine fish dotted foothills,

Past the otter's whiskers,

On to the fur of the wolf pelt that strews the plain.

And then to look back to the rounded sides of the squatting Rockies.

Tigress brindled with aspen,

Jaguar splashed, puma yellow, leopard livid slopes of America.
Make big eyes, little pony,

At all these skins of wild beasts;

They won't hurt you.
Fangs and claws and talons and beaks and hawk eyes

Are nerveless just now.

So be easy.


--Birds, Beasts and Flowers (New York: Thomas Seltzer, 1923), collected in Complete Poems of

D.H. Lawrence, ed. Vivian de Sola Pinto and Warren Roberts (New York: Viking, 1971),

pp. 408 409.



Del Monte Ranch. Questa. New Mexico

31 August 1924

My dear Peg

We got back from the Hopi Country last Monday  I'll probably write an article on the dance. ["The Hopi Snake Dance"] But how I hate long distance trips in motor car  so tiring! We went about a thousand miles altogether.

You ask me what we grow on the ranch: Nothing. There is a big clearing, on which the old owners used to grow alfalfa, and we call it the alfalfa field (it's a sort of clover, alfalfa, blue, grows tall and thick). Forty years ago a man came out looking for gold, and squatted here. There was some gold in the mountains. Then he got poor, and a man called McClure had the place. He had 500 white goats here, raised alfalfa, and let his goats feed wild in the mountains. But the water supply is too bad, and we are too far from anywhere. So he gave up. Mabel Luhan bought the place for $1200 six years ago, and let it go to rack and ruin. Now she traded it to Frieda for the MS. of Sons and Lovers. Every one is very mad with me for giving that MS. The ranch was worth only about $1000, and the MS of Sons and Lovers worth three or four thousand  so everybody says. But I don't care.

I'll draw you a little plan of the place:
[sketch of ranch  SEE APPENDIX A]
We have only one little spring of water  pure water  that will fill a pail in about 3 minutes: it runs the same summer and winter. If we want to grow anything, we must water, irrigate. Maclure used to bring the water in a made ditch, over deep places by wooden runnel bridges, for nearly 3 miles: from the Gallina Canyon. Then, from the house canyon, he brought it down two miles. It's very difficult, though, in a dry country with dry gravelly soil. You can't bring much flow, so far: and in summer very often none. So we leave the ranch quite wild—only theres abundant feed for the five horses. And if we wanted to take the

trouble, we could bring the water here as Maclure did, and have a little farm.  There's quite a lot of land, really  it say 160 acres, but it takes a terrible long time to go round the fence, through the wild forest.  We got lots of wild strawberries  and we still get gallons of wild raspberries, up our own little canyon, where no soul ever goes. If we ride two miles, we can get no farther. Beyond, all savage, unbroken mountains.

We get our things from Taos  17 miles  either by wagon or when someone is coming in a car. Our road is no road  a breaking through the forest  but people come to see us. Every evening, just after tea, we saddle up and ride down to Del Monte Ranch, for the milk, butter, eggs, and letters. The old trail passes this gate, and the mailman, on horseback, leaves all the mail in a box nailed on a tree. Usually we get back just at dark. Yesterday we rode down to San Cristobal, where there is a cross roads, a blacksmith, and a tiny village with no shop no anything, save the blacksmith  only a handfull of Mexicans who speak Spanish  we went to get Frieda's grey horse  the Azul  shod. They call him in Spanish el Azul  the Blue.  During the day there's always plenty to do  chopping wood, carrying water  and our own work: some times we all paint pictures. Next week the Indian Geronimo is coming up to help me mend the corral, and build a porch over my door, and fix the spring for the winter, with a big trough where the horses can drink. I want a Mexican to come and live here while we are away: to keep the place from going wild, squirrels and bushy tailed pack rats from coming in, and to see the water doesn't freeze for the horses. It gets very cold, and snow often knee deep. Sometimes, for a day or two, no getting away from the ranch.

There, I hope that's all you want to know.

I hope your exam went well.  As for Wembley, I don't a bit want to go there. But London can be fascinating.

So glad you like your new house: we had the photographs. I must send you some photographs of here.

I haven't heard from your Aunt Ada at Ripley for so long. Is anything wrong there?

Love to you all. DHL

The autumn is coming, very lovely. The alfalfa field is all mauve and gold, with dark michaelmas daisies and wild sunflowers. I send a pound each for you and Joan.

  The Letters of D.H. Lawrence, Vol. 5, ed. James T. Boulton and Lindeth Vasey (Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, 1989), pp. 110 112.



Del Monte Ranch. Questa. New Mexico

18 May 1924

My dear Catherine

We have often spoken of you lately. I wonder what you are doing. We had your letter about your cottage and Don's job. That was mean, to take the job back again. You do have bad luck.

Did I tell you Mabel Luhan gave Frieda that little ranch  about 160 acres  up here in the skirts of the mountains. We have been up there the last fortnight working like the devil, with 3 Indians and a Mexican carpenter, building up the 3 room log cabin, which was falling down. We've done all the building, save the chimney  and we've made the adobe bricks for that. I hope in the coming week to finish everything, shingling the roofs of the other cabins too. There are two log cabins, a 3 roomer for us, a 2 roomer Mabel can have when she comes, a little one roomer for Brett  and a nice log hay house and corral. We have four horses in the clearing. It is very wild, with the pine trees coming down the mountain  and the altitude, 8,600 ft. takes a bit of getting used to. But it is also very fine.  Now it is our own, so we can invite you to come. I hope you'll scrape the money together and come for a whole summer, perhaps next year, and try it. Anyway it would make a break, and there is something in looking out on to a new landscape altogether.  I think we shall stay till October, then go down to Mexico, where I must work at my novel. At present I don't write  don't want to  don't care. Things are all far away. I haven't seen a newspaper for two months, and cant bear to think of one. The world is as it is. I am as I am. We don't fit very well.  I never forget that fatal evening at the Cafe' Royal. That is what coming home means to me. Never again, pray the Lord.

We rode down here, Brett and I. Frieda lazy, came in the car. The spring down in the valley is so lovely, the wild plum everywhere white like snow, the cotton wood trees all tender and plumy green, like happy ghosts, and the alfalfa fields a heavy dense green. Such a change, in two weeks. The apple orchards suddenly in bloom. Only the grey desert the same.  Now there is a thunderstorm, and I think of my adobes out there at the ranch.  We ride back tomorrow.  One doesn't talk any more about being happy  that is child's talk. But I do like having the big, unbroken spaces round me. There is something savage unbreakable in the spirit of place out here  the Indians drumming and yelling at our camp fire at evening.  But they'll be wiped out too, I expect—schools and education will finish them. But not before the world falls.

Remember me to Don. Save up  and enjoy your cottage meanwhile.


  The Letters of D.H. Lawrence, Vol. 5, ed. James T. Boulton and Lindeth Vasey (Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 46 47.





[This article begins]:
At the beginning of the Christian era, voices were heard off the coasts of Greece, out to sea, on the Mediterranean, wailing: "Pan is dead! Great Pan is dead!"
The father of fauns and nymphs, satyrs and dryads and naiads was dead, dead, with only the voices in the air to lament him. Humanity hardly noticed.

[Later in the article, Lawrence continues with a complete description of

the Lawrence tree which stands in front of the Lawrence cabin, using it

to demonstrate his life philosophy (below). The tree is a contributing site

within our district classification. This is the same tree Georgia O'Keeffe

painted in 1929, entitling the painting The Lawrence Tree.]

And yet here, in America, the oldest of all old Pan is still alive. When Pan was greatest, he was not even Pan. He was nameless and unconceived, mentally. Just as a small baby new from the womb may say

Mama! Dada! whereas in the womb it said nothing, so humanity, in the womb of Pan, said nought. But when humanity was born into a separate idea of itself, it said Pan!

In the days before man got too much separated off from the universe, he was Pan, along with all the rest.

As a tree still is. A strong willed, powerful thing in itself, reaching up and reaching down. With a powerful will of its own it thrusts green hands and huge limbs at the light above, and sends huge legs and gripping toes down, down between the earth and rocks, to the earth's middle.

Here, on this little ranch under the Rocky Mountains, a big pine tree rises like a guardian spirit in front of the cabin where we live. Long, long, ago the Indians blazed it. And the lightning, or the storm, has cut off its crest. Yet its column is always there, alive and changeless, alive and changing. The tree has its own aura of life. And in winter the snow slips off it, and in June it sprinkles down its little catkin like pollen tips, and it hisses in the wind, and it makes a silence within a silence. It is a great tree, under which the house is built. And the tree is still within the allness of Pan. At night, when the lamplight shines out of the window, the great trunk dimly shows, in the near darkness, like an Egyptian column, supporting some powerful mystery in the over branching darkness. By day, it is just a tree.
It is just a tree. The chipmunks skelter a little way up it, the little black and white birds, tree creepers, walk quick as mice on its rough perpendicular, tapping: the blue jays throng on its branches, high up, at dawn, and in the afternoon you hear the faintest rustle of many little wild doves alighting in its upper remoteness. It is a tree, which is still Pan.
And we live beneath it, without noticing. Yet sometimes, when one suddenly looks far up and sees those wild doves there, or when one glances quickly at the inhuman human hammering of a woodpecker, one realizes that the tree is asserting itself as much as I am. It gives out life, as I give out life. Our two lives meet and cross one another, unknowingly: the tree's life penetrates my life, and my life, the tree’s. We cannot live near one another, as we do, without affecting one another.

The tree gathers up earth power from the dark bowels of the earth, and a roaming sky glitter from above. And all unto itself, which is a tree, woody, enormous, slow but unyielding with life, bristling with acquisitive energy, obscurely radiating some of its great strength.

It vibrates its presence into my soul, and I am with Pan. I think no man could live near a pine tree and remain quite suave and supple and compliant. Something fierce and bristling is communicated. The piny

sweetness is rousing and defiant, like turpentine, the noise of the needles is keen with aeons of sharpness. In the volleys of wind from the western desert, the tree hisses and resists. It does not lean eastward at all. It resists with a vast force of resistance, from within itself, and its column is a ribbed, magnificent assertion.

I have become conscious of the tree, and of its interpenetration into my life. Long ago, the Indians must have been even more acutely conscious of it, when they blazed it to leave their mark on it.

  D.H. Lawrence and New Mexico, ed. Keith Sagar (Paris and London: Aylscamps Press, 1995),

pp. 39, 40 41.



Kiowa Ranch. c/o Del Monte Ranch, Questa. N. Mexico

Saturday 30 May [1925]

My dear Pamela

I had your letter yesterday: am thinking that by now Ada should have received the parcel from Mexico with the puma skin for you. Hope it won't go lost.

We are getting on well here. I am much better  almost my normal self again. But I have to beware of the very hot sun, and of the sudden cold.

We have been on our own ranch all the time: only stayed down on Del Monte five days. But Brett is down there, in a house of her own. The water from the Gallina is for here: it runs gaily past the gate,

though the stream isn't very big now. It is a terribly dry spring—everything burnt up. I go out every morning to the field, to turn the water over a new patch. So the long 15 acre field is very green, but the ranges are dry as dry sand, and nothing hardly grows. Only the wild strawberries are flowering full, and the wild gooseberries were thick with blossoms, and little flocks of humming birds came for them.  We are now building a new corral for the four horses  and we are having a black cow on Monday  and we've got white hens and brown ones, and a white cock—and Trinidad caught a little wild rabbit, which is alive and very cheerful. That's all the stock: except for Rufina's sister and two little Indian tots with black eyes. The sister has only got an unknown Indian name, and speaks nothing but Indian.  We made a garden, and the things are coming up. We have to turn the stream on the garden, in dozens of tiny channels, to irrigate it. And the nights sometimes are still very cold.  Trinidad saw a deer just behind the houses, last week. But I don't want him to shoot it.

I hope you will come one day and spend the summer: we will manage it, when we are all a bit richer.

By now you will have got a copy of St. Mawr: and there is a description of the ranch in that.

Glad you've got another dog. Heaven knows what is best for Peg: I hated teaching.

Here is the kiss for Joan x


Love DHL
Frieda's nephew Friedel Jaffe is here  quite a nice boy of 21.

  The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, Vol. 5, ed. James T. Boulton and Lindeth Vasey (Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 257 258.

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