Wan mists enwrap the still-born day;
The harebell withers on the heath,
And all the moorland seems to breathe
The hectic beauty of decay.
—Mathilde Blind, “The Evening of the Year,” Songs and Sonnets
To again invoke the organic metaphor at the root of decadence, what is crucial about the notion of decay is not so much the change from a greater to a lesser state, but the changing itself.
—David Weir, Decadence and the Making of Modernism
[T]he aim of decadence, whether in science or art, is to challenge the limits that mark some forms of knowledge as permissible and others as forbidden, regardless of the results.
—Christine Ferguson, “Decadence as Scientific Fulfillment”