Ernest Dowson: Sonnets of a Little Girl, II

As the 7 other sonnets in this series, this one was probably written in 1885. Again it tells us that only a little girl can relieve the poet’s heart from bitterness and sorrow.


Was it at even, with the casement thrown
    Wide to the summer air, I sat and thought,
Of that ideal which I ever sought,
    But fruitlessly—and so was fain to moan—
“Ah weariness of waiting thus alone,
    With vanity of living all distraught,
To find upon the earth nor peace nor aught
    Lovely or pure, whence all things sweet have gone.”
And then one passed the dark’ning road along
And lit it with her childhood, that I felt
Passion and bitterness like snowflakes melt
Before the sun, and into praise and song
From the despair wherein it long had dwelt
My life burst flower-like and my soul grew strong.

Source: from Poésie Schublade, in Ernest Dowson Collected Poems, Robert Kelsey Rought Thornton and Caroline Dowson (editors), Birmingham University Press, 2003.


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