Pale amber sunlight falls across
The reddening October trees,
That hardly sway before a breeze
As soft as summer: summer’s loss
Seems little, dear! on days like these.
Let misty autumn be our part!
The twilight of the year is sweet:
Where shadow and the darkness meet
Our love, a twilight of the heart
Eludes a little time’s deceit.
Are we not better and at home
In dreamful Autumn, we who deem
No harvest joy is worth a dream?
A little while and night shall come,
A little while, then, let us dream.
Beyond the pearled horizons lie
Winter and night: awaiting these
We garner this poor hour of ease,
Until love turn from us and die
Beneath the drear November trees.”
― Ernest Dowson, The Poems and Prose of Ernest Dowson
Today, in honour of the first real autumn day here in Toronto, I thought it appropriate to make the QOTD something poetic and fall-like. Therefore, I chose a poem called “Autumnal.” It just made sense.
Ernest Dowson was a talented writer in all genres: fiction, short stories and poetry. He was also a dreamer, a romantic, and prone to bouts of blue and gloomy sadness. Considered part of the Deacadent movement, “a late 19th-century artistic and literary movement, centered in Western Europe, that followed an aesthetic ideology of excess and artificiality,” Dowson now holds the record for youngest author to drink himself to death according to my research, accomplishing this “feat” by age 32 after shit completely fell apart in his life and everyone around him seemed to be dying.
But let us not focus on the negative. Sometimes the light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, as appears to be the case with young Mr. Dowson. In those years he did bequeath us pages and pages of literary nuggets, perhaps it’s best to remember him for the words that still resonate with us, the living, as autumn descends upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, and trees shed their spring/summer garments on their short-lived journey to becoming naked orphans once again.