Ernest Dowson Quotes
Pale amber sunlight falls across
The reddening October trees,
That hardly sway before a breeze
As soft as summer: summer's loss
Seems little, dear! on days like these.
Let misty autumn be our part!
The twilight of the year is sweet:
Where shadow and the darkness meet
Our love, a twilight of the heart
Eludes a little time's deceit.
Are we not better and at home
In dreamful Autumn, we who deem
No harvest joy is worth a dream?
A little while and night shall come,
A little while, then, let us dream.
Beyond the pearled horizons lie
Winter and night: awaiting these
We garner this poor hour of ease,
Until love turn from us and die
Beneath the drear November trees.”
“I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, all the time, because the dance was long;
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.
I cried for madder music and for stronger wine,
But when the feast is finished and the lamps expire,
Then falls thy shadow, Cynara! the night is thine;
And I am desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, hungry for the lips of my desire:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.”
“There comes an end to summer,
To spring showers and hoar rime;
His mumming to each mummer
Has somewhere end in time,
And since life ends and laughter,
And leaves fall and tears dry,
Who shall call love immortal,
When all that is must die ?
Nay, sweet, let’s leave unspoken
The vows the fates gainsay,
For all vows made are broken,
We love but while we may.
Let’s kiss when kissing pleases,
And part when kisses pall,
Perchance, this time to-morrow,
We shall not love at all.
You ask my love completest,
As strong next year as now,
The devil take you, sweetest,
Ere I make aught such vow.
Life is a masque that changes,
A fig for constancy!
No love at all were better,
Than love which is not free."
-"To His Mistress”
“When this, our rose, is faded,
And these, our days, are done,
In lands profoundly shaded
From tempest and from sun:
Ah, once more come together,
Shall we forgive the past,
And safe from worldly weather
Possess our souls at last?
Or in our place of shadows
Shall still we stretch an hand
To green, remembered meadows,
Of that old pleasant land?
And vainly there foregathered,
Shall we regret the sun?
The rose of love, ungathered?
The bay, we have not won?
Ah, child! the world's dark marges
May lead to Nevermore,
The stately funeral barges
Sail for an unknown shore,
And love we vow to-morrow,
And pride we serve to-day:
What if they both should borrow
Sad hues of yesterday?
Our pride! Ah, should we miss it,
Or will it serve at last?
Our anger, if we kiss it,
Is like a sorrow past.
While roses deck the garden,
While yet the sun is high,
Doff sorry pride for pardon,
Or ever love go by."
A while we wandered (thus it is I dream!) Through a long, sandy track of No Man's Land, Where only poppies grew among the sand, The which we, plucking, cast with scant esteem, And ever sadlier, into the sad stream, Which followed us, as we went, hand in hand, Under the estranged stars, a road unplanned, Seeing all things in the shadow of a dream.
And ever sadlier, as the stars expired, We found the poppies rarer, till thine eyes Grown all my light, to light me were too tired, And at their darkening, that no surmise Might haunt me of the lost days we desired, After them all I flung those memories!”
“A Last Word
Let us go hence: the night is now at hand;
The day is over worn, the birds all flown;
And we have reaped the crops the gods have sown;
Despair and death; deep darkness o'er the land,
Broods like an owl; we cannot understand
Laughter or tears, for we have only known
Surpassing vanity: vain things alone
Have driven our perverse and aimless band..
Let us go hence, some whither strange and cold,
To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust
Find end of labor, where's rest for the old,
Freedom to all from love and fear and lust.
Twine our torn hands! O pray the earth enfold
Our life-sick hearts and turn them into dust”
“To One in Bedlam
With delicate, mad hands, behind his sordid bars, Surely he hath his posies, which they tear and twine; Those scentless wisps of straw, that miserably line His strait, caged universe, whereat the dull world stares,
Pedant and pitiful. O, how his rapt gaze wars With their stupidity! Know they what dreams divine Lift his long, laughing reveries like enchaunted wine, And make his melancholy germane to the stars?
O, lamentable brother! if those pity thee, Am I not fain of all thy lone eyes promise me; Half a fool's kingdom, far from men who sow and reap, All their days, vanity? Better than mortal flowers, Thy moon-kissed roses seem: better than love or sleep, The star-crowned solitude of thine oblivious hours”