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Dowson, Ernest

· ERNEST DOWSON: AMOR PROFANUS · ERNEST DOWSON: THE DEAD CHILD · ERNEST DOWSON: A REQUIEM · ERNEST DOWSON: A LAST WORD · ERNEST DOWSON: CEASE SMILING DEAR! A LITTLE WHILE BE SAD · ERNEST DOWSON: BENEDICTIO DOMINI · ERNEST DOWSON: A LAST WORD · ERNEST DOWSON: EXCHANGES · ERNEST DOWSON: CHANSON SANS PAROLES · ERNEST DOWSON: BEATA SOLITUDO · ERNEST DOWSON: LOST LOVE · ERNEST DOWSON: APRIL LOVE

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ERNEST DOWSON: AMOR PROFANUS

dowsonernest11

Ernest Dowson
(1867-1900)

Amor Profanus

Beyond the pale of memory,
In some mysterious dusky grove;
A place of shadows utterly,
Where never coos the turtle-dove,
A world forgotten of the sun:
I dreamed we met when day was done,
And marvelled at our ancient love.

Met there by chance, long kept apart,
We wandered through the darkling glades;
And that old language of the heart
We sought to speak: alas! poor shades!
Over our pallid lips had run
The waters of oblivion,
Which crown all loves of men or maids.

In vain we stammered: from afar
Our old desire shone cold and dead:
That time was distant as a star,
When eyes were bright and lips were red.
And still we went with downcast eye
And no delight in being nigh,
Poor shadows most uncomforted.

Ah, Lalage! while life is ours,
Hoard not thy beauty rose and white,
But pluck the pretty fleeing flowers
That deck our little path of light:
For all too soon we twain shall tread
The bitter pastures of the dead:
Estranged, sad spectres of the night.

Ernest Dowson poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Dowson, Ernest


ERNEST DOWSON: THE DEAD CHILD

dowsonernest11

Ernest Dowson
(1867-1900)

The Dead Child

Sleep on, dear, now
The last sleep and the best,
And on thy brow,
And on thy quiet breast
Violets I throw.

Thy scanty years
Were mine a little while;
Life had no fears
To trouble thy brief smile
With toil or tears.

Lie still, and be
For evermore a child!
Not grudgingly,
Whom life has not defiled,
I render thee.

Slumber so deep,
No man would rashly wake;
I hardly weep,
Fain only, for thy sake,
To share thy sleep.

Yes, to be dead,
Dead, here with thee to-day,
When all is said
’Twere good by thee to lay
My weary head.

The very best!
Ah, child so tired of play,
I stand confessed:
I want to come thy way,
And share thy rest.

Ernest Dowson poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Dowson, Ernest


ERNEST DOWSON: A REQUIEM

dowsonernest13

Ernest Dowson
(1867-1900)

A Requiem

Neobule, being tired,
Far too tired to laugh or weep,
From the hours, rosy and gray,
Hid her golden face away.
Neobule, fain of sleep,
Slept at last as she desired!

Neobule! is it well,
That you haunt the hollow lands,
Where the poor, dead people stray,
Ghostly, pitiful and gray,
Plucking, with their spectral hands,
Scentless blooms of asphodel?

Neobule, tired to death
Of the flowers that I threw
On her flower-like, fair feet,
Sighed for blossoms not so sweet,
Lunar roses pale and blue,
Lilies of the world beneath.

Neobule! ah, too tired
Of the dreams and days above!
Where the poor, dead people stray,
Ghostly, pitiful and gray,
Out of life and out of love,
Sleeps the sleep which she desired.

Ernest Dowson poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Dowson, Ernest


ERNEST DOWSON: A LAST WORD

 dowsonernest12

Ernest Dowson
(1867-1900)

A Last Word

Let us go hence: the night is now at hand;
The day is overworn, 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, somewhither strange and cold,
To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust
Find end of labour, 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.

Ernest Dowson poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Dowson, Ernest


ERNEST DOWSON: CEASE SMILING DEAR! A LITTLE WHILE BE SAD

dowsonernest11

Ernest Dowson
(1867-1900)

Cease Smiling, Dear! A Little While Be Sad

Dum nos fata sinunt, oculos satiemus Amore
Propertius

Cease smiling, Dear! a little while be sad,
Here in the silence, under the wan moon;
Sweet are thine eyes, but how can I be glad,
Knowing they change so soon?

For Love’s sake, Dear, be silent! Cover me
In the deep darkness of thy falling hair:
Fear is upon me and the memory
Of what is all men’s share.

O could this moment be perpetuate!
Must we grow old, and leaden-eyed and gray,
And taste no more the wild and passionate
Love sorrows of to-day?

Grown old, and faded, Sweet! and past desire,
Let memory die, lest there be too much ruth,
Remembering the old, extinguished fire
Of our divine, lost youth.

O red pomegranate of thy perfect mouth!
My lips’ life-fruitage, might I taste and die
Here in thy garden, where the scented south
Wind chastens agony;

Reap death from thy live lips in one long kiss,
And look my last into thine eyes and rest:
What sweets had life to me sweeter than this
Swift dying on thy breast?

Or, if that may not be, for Love’s sake, Dear!
Keep silence still, and dream that we shall lie,
Red mouth to mouth, entwined, and always hear
The south wind’s melody,

Here in thy garden, through the sighing boughs,
Beyond the reach of time and chance and change,
And bitter life and death, and broken vows,
That sadden and estrange.

Ernest Dowson poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Dowson, Ernest


ERNEST DOWSON: BENEDICTIO DOMINI

 dowsonernest13

Ernest Dowson
(1867-1900)

Benedictio Domini

Without, the sullen noises of the street!
The voice of London, inarticulate,
Hoarse and blaspheming, surges in to meet
The silent blessing of the Immaculate.

Dark is the church, and dim the worshippers,
Hushed with bowed heads as though by some old spell,
While through the incense-laden air there stirs
The admonition of a silver bell.

Dark is the church, save where the altar stands,
Dressed like a bride, illustrious with light,
Where one old priest exalts with tremulous hands
The one true solace of man’s fallen plight.

Strange silence here; without, the sounding street
Heralds the world’s swift passage to the fire;
O Benediction, perfect and complete!
When shall men cease to suffer and desire?

Ernest Dowson poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Dowson, Ernest


ERNEST DOWSON: A LAST WORD

dowsonernest13

Ernest Dowson
(1867-1900)

A Last Word

Let us go hence: the night is now at hand;
The day is overworn, 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, somewhither strange and cold,
To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust
Find end of labour, 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.

Ernest Dowson poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Dowson, Ernest


ERNEST DOWSON: EXCHANGES

dowsonernest11

Ernest Dowson
(1867-1900)

Exchanges

All that I had I brought,
Little enough I know;
A poor rhyme roughly wrought,
A rose to match thy snow:
All that I had I brought.

Little enough I sought:
But a word compassionate,
A passing glance, or thought,
For me outside the gate:
Little enough I sought.

Little enough I found:
All that you had, perchance!
With the dead leaves on the ground,
I dance the devil’s dance.
All that you had I found.

Ernest Dowson poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Dowson, Ernest


ERNEST DOWSON: CHANSON SANS PAROLES

 dowsonernest13

Ernest Dowson
(1867-1900)

Chanson Sans Paroles

In the deep violet air,
Not a leaf is stirred;
There is no sound heard,
But afar, the rare
Trilled voice of a bird.

Is the wood’s dim heart,
And the fragrant pine,
Incense, and a shrine
Of her coming? Apart,
I wait for a sign.

What the sudden hush said,
She will hear, and forsake,
Swift, for my sake,
Her green, grassy bed:
She will hear and awake!

She will hearken and glide,
From her place of deep rest,
Dove-eyed, with the breast
Of a dove, to my side:
The pines bow their crest.

I wait for a sign:
The leaves to be waved,
The tall tree-tops laved
In a flood of sunshine,
This world to be saved!

In the deep violet air,
Not a leaf is stirred;
There is no sound heard,
But afar, the rare
Trilled voice of a bird.

Ernest Dowson poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Dowson, Ernest


ERNEST DOWSON: BEATA SOLITUDO

dowsonernest12

Ernest Dowson
(1867-1900)

Beata Solitudo

What land of Silence,
Where pale stars shine
On apple-blossom
And dew-drenched vine,
Is yours and mine?

The silent valley
That we will find,
Where all the voices
Of humankind
Are left behind.

There all forgetting,
Forgotten quite,
We will repose us,
With our delight
Hid out of sight.

The world forsaken,
And out of mind
Honour and labour,
We shall not find
The stars unkind.

And men shall travail,
And laugh and weep;
But we have vistas
Of gods asleep,
With dreams as deep.

A land of Silence,
Where pale stars shine
On apple-blossoms
And dew-drenched vine,
Be yours and mine!

Ernest Dowson poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Dowson, Ernest


ERNEST DOWSON: LOST LOVE

dowsonernest12

Ernest Dowson
(1867-1900)
Lost Love

I seek no more to bridge the gulf that lies
Betwixt our separate ways;
For vainly my heart prays,
Hope droops her head and dies;
I see the sad, tired answer in your eyes.

I did not heed, and yet the stars were clear;
Dreaming that love could mate
Lives grown so separate;—
But at the best, my dear,
I see we should not have been very near.

I knew the end before the end was nigh:
The stars have grown so plain;
Vainly I sigh, in vain
For things that come to some,
But unto you and me will never come.

Ernest Dowson poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Dowson, Ernest


ERNEST DOWSON: APRIL LOVE

dowsonernest11

Ernest Dowson
(1867-1900)

April Love

We have walked in Love’s land a little way,
We have learnt his lesson a little while,
And shall we not part at the end of day,
With a sigh, a smile?

A little while in the shine of the sun,
We were twined together, joined lips forgot
How the shadows fall when day is done,
And when Love is not.

We have made no vows—there will none be broke,
Our love was free as the wind on the hill,
There was no word said we need wish unspoke,
We have wrought no ill.

So shall we not part at the end of day,
Who have loved and lingered a little while,
Join lips for the last time, go our way,
With a sigh, a smile.

Ernest Dowson poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Dowson, Ernest


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