Ernest Christopher Dowson

Ernest Christopher Dowson Poems

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?
...

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,
...

Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine
There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed
Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine;
And I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
...

Love's aftermath! I think the time is now
That we must gather in, alone, apart
The saddest crop of all the crops that grow,
Love's aftermath.
...

They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and desire and hate:
I think they have no portion in us after
We pass the gate.
...

A song of the setting sun!
The sky in the west is red,
And the day is all but done;
While yonder up overhead,
...

Beyond the pale of memory,
In some mysterious dusky grove;
A place of shadows utterly,
Where never coos the turtle-dove,
...

Pale amber sunlight falls across
The reddening October trees,
That hardly sway before a breeze
As soft as summer: summer's loss
...

Neobule, being tired,
Far too tired to laugh or weep,
From the hours, rosy and gray,
Hid her golden face away.
...

What is Love?
Is it a folly,
Is it mirth, or melancholy?
Joys above,
...

Little lady of my heart !
Just a little longer,
Love me: we will pass and part,
Ere this love grow stronger.
...

Exceeding sorrow
Consumeth my sad heart!
Because to-morrow
We must depart,
...

If we must part,
Then let it be like this.
Not heart on heart,
Nor with the useless anguish of a kiss;
...

14.

By the sad waters of separation
Where we have wandered by divers ways,
I have but the shadow and imitation
Of the old memorial days.
...

15.

(For Arthur Symons)

I was not sorrowful, I could not weep,
And all my memories were put to sleep.
...

16.

Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine
There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed
...

When I am old,
And sadly steal apart,
Into the dark and cold,
Friend of my heart!
...

18.

I watched the glory of her childhood change,
Half-sorrowful to find the child I knew,
(Loved long ago in lily-time),
Become a maid, mysterious and strange,
...

Why am I sorry, Chloe? Because the moon is far:
And who am I to be straitened in a little earthly star?
...

Because I am idolotrous and have besought
With grievous supplication and consuming prayer,
The admirable image that my love has wrought
Out of her swan's neck and her dark, abundant hair:
...

Ernest Christopher Dowson Biography

Ernest Christopher Dowson was an English poet, novelist and short-story writer, often associated with the Decadent movement. Ernest Dowson was born in Lee, London, in 1867. His great-uncle was Alfred Domett, a poet and politician who became Premier of New Zealand and had allegedly been the subject of Robert Browning's poem "Waring". Dowson attended The Queen's College, Oxford, but left in March 1888 before obtaining a degree. In November 1888, he started work with his father at Dowson and Son, a dry-docking business in Limehouse, east London, which had been established by the poet's grandfather. He led an active social life, carousing with medical students and law pupils, going to music halls and taking the performers to dinner. He was also working assiduously at his writing during this time. He was a member of the Rhymers' Club, which included W. B. Yeats and Lionel Johnson. He was a frequent contributor to the such literary magazines as The Yellow Book and The Savoy. Dowson collaborated on two unsuccessful novels with Arthur Moore, worked on a novel of his own, Madame de Viole, and wrote reviews for The Critic. Dowson was a prolific translator of French fiction, including novels by Balzac and the Goncourt brothers, and Les Liaisons dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos. In 1889, aged 23, Dowson fell in love with the eleven-year-old Adelaide "Missie" Foltinowicz, daughter of a Polish restaurant owner; she is reputed to have been the subject of one his best-known poems, Non Sum Qualis eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae. He pursued her without success, and, in 1897, Dowson was crushed when she married a tailor who lodged above her father's restaurant. In August 1894 Dowson's father, who was in the advanced stages of tuberculosis, died of an overdose of chloral hydrate. His mother, who was also consumptive, hanged herself in February 1895, and soon Dowson began to decline rapidly. Robert Sherard found Dowson almost penniless in a wine bar and took him back to the cottage in Catford, where Sherard was living. Dowson spent the last six weeks of his life at Sherard's cottage and died there of alcoholism at age 32. He was interred in the Roman Catholic section of nearby Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries. After Dowson's death, Oscar Wilde wrote: Poor wounded wonderful fellow that he was, a tragic reproduction of all tragic poetry, like a symbol, or a scene. I hope bay leaves will be laid on his tomb and rue and myrtle too for he knew what love was.)

The Best Poem Of Ernest Christopher Dowson

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 Christopher Dowson Comments

Peter Kennelly 21 October 2007

I stumbled across Ernest Dowson's grave,1867-1900 at Ladywell cemetry. This is in south east london se4 and is a very pretty overgrown space.

6 6 Reply
Joe Ruane 30 July 2015

..and a posthumous Happy Birthday this coming Sunday...

3 2 Reply
Marko Duvnjak 24 January 2015

I found out about this poet because of the late great Christopher Hitchens!

1 3 Reply
Joe Ruane 30 July 2015

i had sought out the gravesite many years ago (Plot #H-8, I believe it was) , and was, too, saddened that it had obviously been unattended for seemingly a long time; if Piecat Lady's right, I'll also be glad. I don't believe he was credited for'Days of Wine & Roses' - but could be wrong; but I'm confident Pat Boone had never heard of his April Love. I've long felt he was respected by Oscar Wilde, and their meeting in Dieppe seems to bear that out. Requiescat in Pace (from One in Bedlam) .

2 2 Reply
Bijay Kant Dubey 03 December 2018

The path of life, does it go to, who to say it? What the purpose of living? What is life, what to say about it, if it is a dream lived with wine and roses? Love, desire, weeping, laughter and hate, all are for the time being and after that the things take a drastic change.The reality of life, none has known and none will be able to get at. (After reading his poem, They Are Not Long)

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