Thursday, January 12, 2012

Poète Maudit

Thinking of Ernest Dowson

Beauty rules her haunted souls,
Her gold transmuting lead,
Her scepter takes allotted tolls
In flames that must be fed

With lives you lived so long ago
Still roasting on her spit,
That feeling you cannot let go,
Like clothes that never fit.

The perfume phial is empty,
The lipstick faded grey,
The world will never hear your cries
Now that they’ve burned away,

The perfect turns of phrase will bend,
The music will undo;
The kisses will survive them,
The roses will stay true,

The wine will last forever
‘Tho drunkards drain like drops
In death the quenchless river
Where every carriage stops;

The dull words of the girl long gone
Will echo in the caves,
The sound in vain you waited on
Will whisper through the waves

But the sweet silk that you made of it
Has long since now dissolved,
And the dawn you mourned as dimly lit
Will never quite resolve.

The fountain now no longer sings
Its unheard melodies,
But lovers still arrive in spring
With fires to appease,

And only you are absent,
You poet of the clouds,
Who held what was too vibrant,
Too lucent for our shrouds.

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