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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 |

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.

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 |


 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 |


 I wandered through Scoglietto's far retreat,
The oranges on each o'erhanging spray
Burned as bright lamps of gold to shame the day;
Some startled bird with fluttering wings and fleet
Made snow of all the blossoms; at my feet
Like silver moons the pale narcissi lay:
And the curved waves that streaked the great green bay
Laughed i' the sun, and life seemed very sweet.
Outside the young boy-priest passed singing clear, 'Jesus the son of Mary has been slain, O come and fill His sepulchre with flowers.
' Ah, God! Ah, God! those dear Hellenic hours Had drowned all memory of Thy bitter pain, The Cross, the Crown, the Soldiers and the Spear.

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.

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 |


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 |


 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 |


 Is it thy will that I should wax and wane,
Barter my cloth of gold for hodden grey,
And at thy pleasure weave that web of pain
Whose brightest threads are each a wasted day?

Is it thy will - Love that I love so well -
That my Soul's House should be a tortured spot
Wherein, like evil paramours, must dwell
The quenchless flame, the worm that dieth not?

Nay, if it be thy will I shall endure,
And sell ambition at the common mart,
And let dull failure be my vestiture,
And sorrow dig its grave within my heart.
Perchance it may be better so - at least I have not made my heart a heart of stone, Nor starved my boyhood of its goodly feast, Nor walked where Beauty is a thing unknown.
Many a man hath done so; sought to fence In straitened bonds the soul that should be free, Trodden the dusty road of common sense, While all the forest sang of liberty, Not marking how the spotted hawk in flight Passed on wide pinion through the lofty air, To where some steep untrodden mountain height Caught the last tresses of the Sun God's hair.
Or how the little flower he trod upon, The daisy, that white-feathered shield of gold, Followed with wistful eyes the wandering sun Content if once its leaves were aureoled.
But surely it is something to have been The best beloved for a little while, To have walked hand in hand with Love, and seen His purple wings flit once across thy smile.
Ay! though the gorged asp of passion feed On my boy's heart, yet have I burst the bars, Stood face to face with Beauty, known indeed The Love which moves the Sun and all the stars!

Written by Oscar Wilde |


 Italia! thou art fallen, though with sheen
Of battle-spears thy clamorous armies stride
From the north Alps to the Sicilian tide!
Ay! fallen, though the nations hail thee Queen
Because rich gold in every town is seen,
And on thy sapphire-lake in tossing pride
Of wind-filled vans thy myriad galleys ride
Beneath one flag of red and white and green.
O Fair and Strong! O Strong and Fair in vain! Look southward where Rome's desecrated town Lies mourning for her God-anointed King! Look heaven-ward! shall God allow this thing? Nay! but some flame-girt Raphael shall come down, And smite the Spoiler with the sword of pain.

Written by Oscar Wilde |


 Come down, O Christ, and help me! reach Thy hand,
For I am drowning in a stormier sea
Than Simon on Thy lake of Galilee:
The wine of life is spilt upon the sand,
My heart is as some famine-murdered land
Whence all good things have perished utterly,
And well I know my soul in Hell must lie
If I this night before God's throne should stand.
'He sleeps perchance, or rideth to the chase, Like Baal, when his prophets howled that name From morn to noon on Carmel's smitten height.
' Nay, peace, I shall behold, before the night, The feet of brass, the robe more white than flame, The wounded hands, the weary human face.

Written by Oscar Wilde |

Amor Intellectualis

 Oft have we trod the vales of Castaly
And heard sweet notes of sylvan music blown
From antique reeds to common folk unknown:
And often launched our bark upon that sea
Which the nine Muses hold in empery,
And ploughed free furrows through the wave and foam,
Nor spread reluctant sail for more safe home
Till we had freighted well our argosy.
Of which despoiled treasures these remain, Sordello's passion, and the honeyed line Of young Endymion, lordly Tamburlaine Driving his pampered jades, and more than these, The seven-fold vision of the Florentine, And grave-browed Milton's solemn harmonies.