Poems by Ernest Christopher Dowson

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Violets and leaves of vine,
Let us go hence: the night is now at hand;
Neobule, being tired,
All that a man may pray,
If we must part,
Little lady of my heart!
I was always a lover of ladies' hands!
I
When this, our rose, is faded,
Beyond the pale of memory,
A gift of Silence, sweet!
We have walked in Love's land a little way,
Pale amber sunlight falls across
What land of Silence,
Without, the sullen noises of the street!
Love's aftermath! I think the time is now
Here, where the breath of the scented-gorse floats through the sun-stained air,
Through what long heaviness, assayed in what strange fire,
In the deep violet air,
Shall one be sorrowful because of love,
The fire is out, and spent the warmth thereof
Dum nos fata sinunt, oculos satiemus Amore.--PROPERTIUS
Because I am idolatrous and have besought,
All that I had I brought,
By the sad waters of separation
Upon the eyes, the lips, the feet,
I would not alter thy cold eyes,
A while we wandered (thus it is I dream!)
I watched the glory of her childhood change,
Before my light goes out for ever if God should give me a choice of graces,
They sleep well here,
See how the trees and the osiers lithe
When I am old,
Erewhile, before the world was old,
Goddess the laughter-loving, Aphrodite, befriend!
A song of the setting sun!
Dew on her robe and on her tangled hair;
Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine
Calm, sad, secure; behind high convent walls,
Exceeding sorrow
Mark the day white, on which the Fates have smiled:
You would have understood me, had you waited;
Why is there in the least touch of her hands
Ah, Manon, say, why is it we
(1887-1895)
The wisdom of the world said unto me:
Come not before me now, O visionary face!
Oh, I would live in a dairy,
I was not sorrowful, I could not weep,
Even now the fragrant darkness of her hair
Sleep on, dear, now
Love heeds no more the sighing of the wind
Sleep! Cast thy canopy
THE CHARACTERS
Where river and ocean meet in a great tempestuous frown,
All the moon-shed nights are over,
Why am I sorry, Chloe? Because the moon is far:
I seek no more to bridge the gulf that lies
There comes an end to summer,
With delicate, mad hands, behind his sordid bars,
The cherry-coloured velvet of your cloak
A little while to walk with thee, dear child;
Sometimes, to solace my sad heart, I say,
I said: "There is an end of my desire:
Beyond the need of weeping,
Let be at last; give over words and sighing,
Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam
Strange grows the river on the sunless evenings!
By the pale marge of Acheron,
I took her dainty eyes, as well
"A little, passionately, not at all?"
Come hither, Child! and rest:
Wine and woman and song,
Love wine and beauty and the spring,
In your mother's apple-orchard,
In your mother's apple-orchard

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