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Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae

Written by: Ernest Dowson | Biography
 | Quotes (1) |
 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 gray: 
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, 
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 title translates, from the Latin, as 
'I am no more the man I was in the reign of the Good Cynara']



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