POETICAL MANUSCRIPT IN HIS HANDWRITING of what is claimed in another hand to be a poem by Dowson, 12 lines, note at foot 'Lines of Dowson scribbled by Col. T.E. Lawrence for L[ionel] Cust', in pencil, 1 page, octavo, darkened horizontal fold, on the verso of a letter to Curtis by E.M. Goodman about his son Martin's pretensions as an author, not dated
Silence loneliness darkness
These & of these my fill
While God in the rush of the maytide
Without is working his will...
Lawrence was a great admirer of Dowson; he wrote to Charlotte Shaw on 15 May 1928: 'when I think of lives of which I am very grateful: for poor Dowson, who wrote ten lovely poems, and died.' His poem to S.A., the dedication of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, seems to be the only poem known to have been composed by Lawrence.
This poem has not been identified among the poems of Dowson (edited by Mark Longaker, 1962). The only other poetical manuscript in Lawrence's hand known to us is in Eddie Marsh's album amicorum at Eton - a translation of an Arabic poem by the Emir Feisal.
Lionel Curtis (1872-1955), dubbed 'The Prophet' by Lawrence, helped with the publication of the subscription edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, was one of Lawrence's most regular and trusted correspondents and was the recipient of some of his most revealing letters. The main collections of T.E. Lawrence manuscripts are mainly in the Bodleian, British Library, Texas and Harvard.
PROVENANCE: Lionel Curtis.
REFERENCES: Jeremy Wilson, Lawrence of Arabia, 1990; Location Register of Twentieth-Century Literary Manuscripts and Letters, 2 volumes, 1988.