TO SEE THIS METAMORPHOTO,
PLEASE DOWNLOAD A FREE JAVA "PLUG-IN"
FROM THE WEB
AFTER TYPING
"JAVA"
IN A GOOGLE SEARCH-BOX.

metamorphoto by Anthony Weir
applet by www.anfyteam.com

 

 

translations of poems by Arthur Rimbaud >

 

a new translation of
AWAITING THE BARBARIANS

by
Constantine Cavafy

 

SNAKE
by D.H. Lawrence

 

LEDA AND THE SWAN
by
W.B. Yeats

 

BYZANTIUM by W.B. Yeats >

 

BEPPO by Lord Byron

 

and
Pierre de Ronsard's incomparable sonnet


"Quand vous serez bien vieille..."
>>

 

 

 


 

DOWNLOAD
A ZIP-FILE OF THIS WEB-PAGE

 

CYNARA

by

Ernest Christopher Dowson


published in 1896 with the title:

Non sum qualis eram bonæ
sub Regno Cynaræ

['The days when Cynara was queen will not return for me.' - CATULLUS]


Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine
There fell thy shadow, Cynara ! Thy breath was shed
Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine;
And I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara ! in my fashion.

All night upon mine heart I felt her warm heart beat,
Night-long within mine arms in love and sleep she lay;
Surely the kisses of her bought red mouth were sweet;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
When I awoke and found the dawn was grey:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara ! in my fashion.

I have forgot much, Cynara ! gone, gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, all the time, because the dance was long:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara ! in my fashion.

I cried for madder music and for stronger wine,
But when the feast is finished and the lamps expire,
Then falls thy shadow, Cynara ! the night is thine;
And I am desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, hungry for the lips of my desire:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara ! in my fashion.


 


The key to this marvellous, haunting poem is in the lines:

...Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind
...

The 'pale, lost lilies' are funeral-flowers and the pallor of the young belovèd's complexion as she lay dying of Tuberculosis, the world's most successful human affliction apart from hunger.
After Cynara's death the poet sought to drown his sorrow in social, sensual and sexual 'pleasures' which echo the feverish flushes that are symptomatic of the later stages of TB - but to no effect.
His fidelity lies in his failure to forget Cynara (whose name means 'artichoke' or 'cardoon') - a fidelity deep within his heart truer than self-controlling seclusion or chastity could ever be - a fidelity as organic as the Tuberculosis in his belovèd.

Dowson himself, toothless and broken-hearted, died of Tuberculosis, whereas 'Cynara' died after him of blood-poisoning: the result of an inept abortion.


Anthony Weir

 

 

TRY A PAGE AT RANDOM