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Best Famous Oscar Wilde Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Oscar Wilde poems. This is a select list of the best famous Oscar Wilde poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Oscar Wilde poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Oscar Wilde poems.

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Written by Oscar Wilde |


To drift with every passion till my soul
Is a stringed lute on which all winds can play,
Is it for this that I have given away
Mine ancient wisdom, and austere control?
Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll
Scrawled over on some boyish holiday
With idle songs for pipe and virelay,
Which do but mar the secret of the whole.
Surely there was a time I might have trod The sunlit heights, and from life's dissonance Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God.
Is that time dead? lo! with a little rod I did but touch the honey of romance— And must I lose a soul's inheritance?

Written by Oscar Wilde |


 Out of the mid-wood's twilight
Into the meadow's dawn,
Ivory limbed and brown-eyed,
Flashes my Faun!

He skips through the copses singing,
And his shadow dances along,
And I know not which I should follow,
Shadow or song!

O Hunter, snare me his shadow!
O Nightingale, catch me his strain!
Else moonstruck with music and madness
I track him in vain!

Written by Oscar Wilde |

My Voice

 Within this restless, hurried, modern world
We took our hearts' full pleasure - You and I,
And now the white sails of our ship are furled,
And spent the lading of our argosy.
Wherefore my cheeks before their time are wan, For very weeping is my gladness fled, Sorrow has paled my young mouth's vermilion, And Ruin draws the curtains of my bed.
But all this crowded life has been to thee No more than lyre, or lute, or subtle spell Of viols, or the music of the sea That sleeps, a mimic echo, in the shell.

More great poems below...

Written by Oscar Wilde |

A Vision

 Two crowned Kings, and One that stood alone
With no green weight of laurels round his head,
But with sad eyes as one uncomforted,
And wearied with man's never-ceasing moan
For sins no bleating victim can atone,
And sweet long lips with tears and kisses fed.
Girt was he in a garment black and red, And at his feet I marked a broken stone Which sent up lilies, dove-like, to his knees.
Now at their sight, my heart being lit with flame, I cried to Beatrice, 'Who are these?' And she made answer, knowing well each name, 'AEschylos first, the second Sophokles, And last (wide stream of tears!) Euripides.

Written by Oscar Wilde |

A Villanelle

 O singer of Persephone!
In the dim meadows desolate
Dost thou remember Sicily?

Still through the ivy flits the bee
Where Amaryllis lies in state;
O Singer of Persephone!

Simaetha calls on Hecate
And hears the wild dogs at the gate;
Dost thou remember Sicily?

Still by the light and laughing sea
Poor Polypheme bemoans his fate;
O Singer of Persephone!

And still in boyish rivalry
Young Daphnis challenges his mate;
Dost thou remember Sicily?

Slim Lacon keeps a goat for thee,
For thee the jocund shepherds wait;
O Singer of Persephone!
Dost thou remember Sicily?

Written by Oscar Wilde |

The True Knowledge

 Thou knowest all; I seek in vain
What lands to till or sow with seed -
The land is black with briar and weed,
Nor cares for falling tears or rain.
Thou knowest all; I sit and wait With blinded eyes and hands that fail, Till the last lifting of the veil And the first opening of the gate.
Thou knowest all; I cannot see.
I trust I shall not live in vain, I know that we shall meet again In some divine eternity.

Written by Oscar Wilde |


 The seasons send their ruin as they go,
For in the spring the narciss shows its head
Nor withers till the rose has flamed to red,
And in the autumn purple violets blow,
And the slim crocus stirs the winter snow;
Wherefore yon leafless trees will bloom again
And this grey land grow green with summer rain
And send up cowslips for some boy to mow.
But what of life whose bitter hungry sea Flows at our heels, and gloom of sunless night Covers the days which never more return? Ambition, love and all the thoughts that burn We lose too soon, and only find delight In withered husks of some dead memory.

Written by Oscar Wilde |

Silentium Amoris

 As often-times the too resplendent sun
Hurries the pallid and reluctant moon
Back to her sombre cave, ere she hath won
A single ballad from the nightingale,
So doth thy Beauty make my lips to fail,
And all my sweetest singing out of tune.
And as at dawn across the level mead On wings impetuous some wind will come, And with its too harsh kisses break the reed Which was its only instrument of song, So my too stormy passions work me wrong, And for excess of Love my Love is dumb.
But surely unto Thee mine eyes did show Why I am silent, and my lute unstrung; Else it were better we should part, and go, Thou to some lips of sweeter melody, And I to nurse the barren memory Of unkissed kisses, and songs never sung.

Written by Oscar Wilde |

Her Voice

 The wild bee reels from bough to bough
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing,
Now in a lily-cup, and now
Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
In his wandering;
Sit closer love: it was here I trow
I made that vow,

Swore that two lives should be like one
As long as the sea-gull loved the sea,
As long as the sunflower sought the sun, -
It shall be, I said, for eternity
'Twixt you and me!
Dear friend, those times are over and done;
Love's web is spun.
Look upward where the poplar trees Sway and sway in the summer air, Here in the valley never a breeze Scatters the thistledown, but there Great winds blow fair From the mighty murmuring mystical seas, And the wave-lashed leas.
Look upward where the white gull screams, What does it see that we do not see? Is that a star? or the lamp that gleams On some outward voyaging argosy, - Ah! can it be We have lived our lives in a land of dreams! How sad it seems.
Sweet, there is nothing left to say But this, that love is never lost, Keen winter stabs the breasts of May Whose crimson roses burst his frost, Ships tempest-tossed Will find a harbour in some bay, And so we may.
And there is nothing left to do But to kiss once again, and part, Nay, there is nothing we should rue, I have my beauty, - you your Art, Nay, do not start, One world was not enough for two Like me and you.

Written by Oscar Wilde |


 Tread lightly, she is near
Under the snow,
Speak gently, she can hear
The daisies grow.
All her bright golden hair Tarnished with rust, She that was young and fair Fallen to dust.
Lily-like, white as snow, She hardly knew She was a woman, so Sweetly she grew.
Coffin-board, heavy stone, Lie on her breast, I vex my heart alone, She is at rest.
Peace, Peace, she cannot hear Lyre or sonnet, All my life's buried here, Heap earth upon it.

Written by Oscar Wilde |

Easter Day

 The silver trumpets rang across the Dome:
The people knelt upon the ground with awe:
And borne upon the necks of men I saw,
Like some great God, the Holy Lord of Rome.
Priest-like, he wore a robe more white than foam, And, king-like, swathed himself in royal red, Three crowns of gold rose high upon his head: In splendour and in light the Pope passed home.
My heart stole back across wide wastes of years To One who wandered by a lonely sea, And sought in vain for any place of rest: 'Foxes have holes, and every bird its nest.
I, only I, must wander wearily, And bruise my feet, and drink wine salt with tears.

Written by Oscar Wilde |


 Against these turbid turquoise skies
The light and luminous balloons
Dip and drift like satin moons
Drift like silken butterflies;

Reel with every windy gust,
Rise and reel like dancing girls,
Float like strange transparent pearls,
Fall and float like silver dust.
Now to the low leaves they cling, Each with coy fantastic pose, Each a petal of a rose Straining at a gossamer string.
Then to the tall trees they climb, Like thin globes of amethyst, Wandering opals keeping tryst With the rubies of the lime.

Written by Oscar Wilde |

ENDYMION (For music)

 The apple trees are hung with gold,
And birds are loud in Arcady,
The sheep lie bleating in the fold,
The wild goat runs across the wold,
But yesterday his love he told,
I know he will come back to me.
O rising moon! O Lady moon! Be you my lover's sentinel, You cannot choose but know him well, For he is shod with purple shoon, You cannot choose but know my love, For he a shepherd's crook doth bear, And he is soft as any dove, And brown and curly is his hair.
The turtle now has ceased to call Upon her crimson-footed groom, The grey wolf prowls about the stall, The lily's singing seneschal Sleeps in the lily-bell, and all The violet hills are lost in gloom.
O risen moon! O holy moon! Stand on the top of Helice, And if my own true love you see, Ah! if you see the purple shoon, The hazel crook, the lad's brown hair, The goat-skin wrapped about his arm, Tell him that I am waiting where The rushlight glimmers in the Farm.
The falling dew is cold and chill, And no bird sings in Arcady, The little fauns have left the hill, Even the tired daffodil Has closed its gilded doors, and still My lover comes not back to me.
False moon! False moon! O waning moon! Where is my own true lover gone, Where are the lips vermilion, The shepherd's crook, the purple shoon? Why spread that silver pavilion, Why wear that veil of drifting mist? Ah! thou hast young Endymion Thou hast the lips that should be kissed!

Written by Oscar Wilde |


O goat-foot God of Arcady! This modern world is grey and old, And what remains to us of thee? No more the shepherd lads in glee Throw apples at thy wattled fold, O goat-foot God of Arcady! Nor through the laurels can one see Thy soft brown limbs, thy beard of gold And what remains to us of thee? And dull and dead our Thames would be, For here the winds are chill and cold, O goat-loot God of Arcady! Then keep the tomb of Helice, Thine olive-woods, thy vine-clad wold, And what remains to us of thee? Though many an unsung elegy Sleeps in the reeds our rivers hold, O goat-foot God of Arcady! Ah, what remains to us of thee? II.
Ah, leave the hills of Arcady, Thy satyrs and their wanton play, This modern world hath need of thee.
No nymph or Faun indeed have we, For Faun and nymph are old and grey, Ah, leave the hills of Arcady! This is the land where liberty Lit grave-browed Milton on his way, This modern world hath need of thee! A land of ancient chivalry Where gentle Sidney saw the day, Ah, leave the hills of Arcady! This fierce sea-lion of the sea, This England lacks some stronger lay, This modern world hath need of thee! Then blow some trumpet loud and free, And give thine oaten pipe away, Ah, leave the hills of Arcady! This modern world hath need of thee!

Written by Oscar Wilde |

To My Wife - With A Copy Of My Poems

 I can write no stately proem
As a prelude to my lay;
From a poet to a poem
I would dare to say.
For if of these fallen petals One to you seem fair, Love will waft it till it settles On your hair.
And when wind and winter harden All the loveless land, It will whisper of the garden, You will understand.