Tag Archives: love poems

Roses

Oft he sought the perfect rose,

Enjoyed the flower where it grows.

Soon he found the blooms did pall,,

His dalliances they turn to gall.

Still he after pleasure strove,

Clutched noisome blossoms to his nose.

Thorns they speared him through the heart,

Still his desire did not depart.

They found him lying on a bed cold,

In his hand a fading rose.

 

 

To His Coy Mistress By Andrew Marvell

In honour of National Poetry Month I am reproducing below “To His Coy Mistress” by the English poet, Andrew Marvell

 

 

“Had we but world enough and time,

This coyness, lady, were no crime.

We would sit down, and think which way

To walk, and pass our long love’s day.

Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side

Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide

Of Humber would complain. I would

Love you ten years before the flood,

And you should, if you please, refuse

Till the conversion of the Jews.

My vegetable love should grow

Vaster than empires and more slow;

An hundred years should go to praise

Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;

Two hundred to adore each breast,

But thirty thousand to the rest;

An age at least to every part,

And the last age should show your heart.

For, lady, you deserve this state,

Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear

Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;

And yonder all before us lie

Deserts of vast eternity.

Thy beauty shall no more be found;

Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound

My echoing song; then worms shall try

That long-preserved virginity,

And your quaint honour turn to dust,

And into ashes all my lust;

The grave’s a fine and private place,

But none, I think, do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue

Sits on thy skin like morning dew,

And while thy willing soul transpires

At every pore with instant fires,

Now let us sport us while we may,

And now, like amorous birds of prey,

Rather at once our time devour

Than languish in his slow-chapped power.

Let us roll all our strength and all

Our sweetness up into one ball,

And tear our pleasures with rough strife

Through the iron gates of life:

Thus, though we cannot make our sun

Stand still, yet we will make him run”.

Book Review: The Poems And Prose Of Ernest Dowson With A Memoir By Arthur Symons

I can not quite recollect when I first came across the poet Ernest Christopher Dowson. Perhaps it was while listening to one of the many recorded anthologies of verse which have delighted me over the years. Possibly I read his “They are not long the weeping and the laughter” while browsing through the Oxford Book of English Verse. Be that as it may, I was delighted to come across The Poems And Prose Of Ernest Dowson With A Memoir By Arthur Symons as a free download in the Amazon Kindle store, http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000JQUZY6?ie=UTF8&ref_=oce_digital_UK.

Dowson was born in 1867 and died in 1900 at the tragically young age of 30. During his short life he produced some of the most moving poetry in the English language including his often quoted “They are not Long”

“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.

 

They are not long, the days of wine and roses,

Out of a misty dream

Our path emerges for a while, then closes

Within a dream.”

Indeed Dowson’s life was not long which serves to add poignancy to this beautiful poem. Whoever said that poetry has to be complex in order to be meaningful was wrong. As with “They are not long” verse can be a mere few lines and yet stir the emotions in a manner not achieved by more lengthy poems.

The brevity of existence and love is a constant theme in Dowson’s work. Take, for example his poem, April Love which touchingly describes the fleetingness of an affair

“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 the 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?”.

Prior to reading “The Poems and Prose” I was not aware that in addition to his poetry Dowson had produced a number of short stories and one play. As with his poems the stories and play describe unattainable love or, in several of the stories the inability of men to take the plunge and express their love to their beloved.

In the play a man falls asleep in a beautiful garden to be awoken by a moon goddess. They indulge in romantic play for the few hours of night and at the end of their sport the lady leaves her mortal lover behind. Ever after he remains enthral to his moon goddess and is unable to find happiness with a mortal woman.

I could list the delights of this anthology until the cows come home, however I will cease my scribbling here and leave you to explore Dowson’s work for yourselves.