This is represented in the fictitious character of the antiquarian Dr. Jonas Dryasdust, to whom Sir Walter Scott addressed the prefatory epistle of Ivanhoe and some other novels.
dust and ashes
used to convey a feeling of great disappointment or disillusion about something
Often found in the fuller form turn to dust and ashes in your mouth - the phrase is used in the Bible as a metaphor for worthlessness for example in Genesis 18 : 27 and the Book of Job 30 : 19. It derives from the legend of the Sodom apple or Dead Sea fruit whose attractive appearance tempted people, but which tasted only of dust and ashes when eaten.
the dust settles
things quieten down
1998 - New Scientist - The dust is settling on the chaos which ensued when the French sold 110,000 tickets to the World Cup football matches by phone.
eat his dust
fall far behind someone in a competitive situation - North American informal
1993 - Fiddlehead - She let everybody know she was moving on to True Love and they could eat her dust.
gather dust = collect dust
not see someone for dust
find that a person has made a hasty departure
1978 - Patricia Grace - Mutuwhenua - You didn't see this Maori for dust…out the door, on the bike and away.