Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ernest Dowson - They Are Not Long

It's the birthday of Ernest Dowson, born this date in 1867. He died in 1900, and his brief life resonates well with what might be his most famous poem. The Latin epigram may be translated as "the brief sum of life forbids us from thinking of far-off hope."

    Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam.

    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.

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