As those of you who dip into this site from time to time will know Dowson is a great favourite of mine. He only lived for 32 years (1867-1900) however, during this brief span he produced some of the most moving verse in the English language. I am a great admirer of his poem “They are not long the weeping and the laughter” but, as I have quoted this before I’ll pass over it (great as it is) and, instead quote Dowson’s “the garden of shadow”.
THE GARDEN OF SHADOW
Love heeds no more the sighing of the wind
Against the perfect flowers: thy garden’s close
Is grown a wilderness, where none shall find
One strayed, last petal of one last year’s rose.
O bright, bright hair! O mouth like a ripe fruit!
Can famine be so nigh to harvesting?
Love, that was songful, with a broken lute
In grass of graveyards goeth murmuring.
Let the wind blow against the perfect flowers,
And all thy garden change and glow with spring:
Love is grown blind with no more count of hours
Nor part in seed-time nor in harvesting.