“Thy breath was shed upon my soul between the kisses and the wine”

NON SUM QUALIS ERAM BONAE SUB REGNO CYNARAE
~ by Ernest Dowson

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 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,
There 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 Latin title, a quote from Horace, means “I am not what I was when good Cynara was queen.”

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Author: MDM

Michael Dennis Mooney is a student of humor and witticism in verse. At this site he is compiling a selection of the best works using extended metaphor in poetry, with a special interest in satire, parody, and humor. Suggestions are welcome. Send your citations of favorites, by email, to mike.mooney.home@gmail.com He has a site "New Writings" at http://jcbcast.blogspot.com And a site for essays, 'His Epistles To The Philistines" at http://tothephilistines.wordpress.com

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