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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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by Oscar Wilde | |

Hélas

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?


by Oscar Wilde | |

SYMPHONY IN YELLOW

 An omnibus across the bridge
Crawls like a yellow butterfly
And, here and there, a passer-by
Shows like a little restless midge.
Big barges full of yellow hay Are moored against the shadowy wharf, And, like a yellow silken scarf, The thick fog hangs along the quay.
The yellow leaves begin to fade And flutter from the Temple elms, And at my feet the pale green Thames Lies like a rod of rippled jade.


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?


by Oscar Wilde | |

Impression De Voyage

 The sea was sapphire coloured, and the sky
Burned like a heated opal through the air;
We hoisted sail; the wind was blowing fair
For the blue lands that to the eastward lie.
From the steep prow I marked with quickening eye Zakynthos, every olive grove and creek, Ithaca's cliff, Lycaon's snowy peak, And all the flower-strewn hills of Arcady.
The flapping of the sail against the mast, The ripple of the water on the side, The ripple of girls' laughter at the stern, The only sounds:- when 'gan the West to burn, And a red sun upon the seas to ride, I stood upon the soil of Greece at last! KATAKOLO.


by Oscar Wilde | |

LA MER

 A white mist drifts across the shrouds,
A wild moon in this wintry sky
Gleams like an angry lion's eye
Out of a mane of tawny clouds.
The muffled steersman at the wheel Is but a shadow in the gloom; - And in the throbbing engine-room Leap the long rods of polished steel.
The shattered storm has left its trace Upon this huge and heaving dome, For the thin threads of yellow foam Float on the waves like ravelled lace.


by Oscar Wilde | |

Desespoir

 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.


by Oscar Wilde | |

In The Gold Room - A Harmony

 Her ivory hands on the ivory keys
Strayed in a fitful fantasy,
Like the silver gleam when the poplar trees
Rustle their pale-leaves listlessly,
Or the drifting foam of a restless sea
When the waves show their teeth in the flying breeze.
Her gold hair fell on the wall of gold Like the delicate gossamer tangles spun On the burnished disk of the marigold, Or the sunflower turning to meet the sun When the gloom of the dark blue night is done, And the spear of the lily is aureoled.
And her sweet red lips on these lips of mine Burned like the ruby fire set In the swinging lamp of a crimson shrine, Or the bleeding wounds of the pomegranate, Or the heart of the lotus drenched and wet With the spilt-out blood of the rose-red wine.


by Oscar Wilde | |

Santa Decca

 The Gods are dead: no longer do we bring
To grey-eyed Pallas crowns of olive-leaves!
Demeter's child no more hath tithe of sheaves,
And in the noon the careless shepherds sing,
For Pan is dead, and all the wantoning
By secret glade and devious haunt is o'er:
Young Hylas seeks the water-springs no more;
Great Pan is dead, and Mary's son is King.
And yet - perchance in this sea-tranced isle, Chewing the bitter fruit of memory, Some God lies hidden in the asphodel.
Ah Love! if such there be, then it were well For us to fly his anger: nay, but see, The leaves are stirring: let us watch awhile.
CORFU.


by Oscar Wilde | |

Libertatis Sacra Fames

 Albeit nurtured in democracy,
And liking best that state republican
Where every man is Kinglike and no man
Is crowned above his fellows, yet I see,
Spite of this modern fret for Liberty,
Better the rule of One, whom all obey,
Than to let clamorous demagogues betray
Our freedom with the kiss of anarchy.
Wherefore I love them not whose hands profane Plant the red flag upon the piled-up street For no right cause, beneath whose ignorant reign Arts, Culture, Reverence, Honour, all things fade, Save Treason and the dagger of her trade, Or Murder with his silent bloody feet.


by Oscar Wilde | |

Phedre

 (To Sarah Bernhardt)

How vain and dull this common world must seem
To such a One as thou, who should'st have talked
At Florence with Mirandola, or walked
Through the cool olives of the Academe:
Thou should'st have gathered reeds from a green stream
For Goat-foot Pan's shrill piping, and have played
With the white girls in that Phaeacian glade
Where grave Odysseus wakened from his dream.
Ah! surely once some urn of Attic clay Held thy wan dust, and thou hast come again Back to this common world so dull and vain, For thou wert weary of the sunless day, The heavy fields of scentless asphodel, The loveless lips with which men kiss in Hell.


by Oscar Wilde | |

SAN MINIATO

 See, I have climbed the mountain side
Up to this holy house of God,
Where once that Angel-Painter trod
Who saw the heavens opened wide, 

And throned upon the crescent moon
The Virginal white Queen of Grace, -
Mary! could I but see thy face
Death could not come at all too soon.
O crowned by God with thorns and pain! Mother of Christ! O mystic wife! My heart is weary of this life And over-sad to sing again.
O crowned by God with love and flame! O crowned by Christ the Holy One! O listen ere the searching sun Show to the world my sin and shame.


by Oscar Wilde | |

Quia Multum Amavi

 Dear Heart, I think the young impassioned priest
When first he takes from out the hidden shrine
His God imprisoned in the Eucharist,
And eats the bread, and drinks the dreadful wine,

Feels not such awful wonder as I felt
When first my smitten eyes beat full on thee,
And all night long before thy feet I knelt
Till thou wert wearied of Idolatry.
Ah! hadst thou liked me less and loved me more, Through all those summer days of joy and rain, I had not now been sorrow's heritor, Or stood a lackey in the House of Pain.
Yet, though remorse, youth's white-faced seneschal, Tread on my heels with all his retinue, I am most glad I loved thee - think of all The suns that go to make one speedwell blue!


by Oscar Wilde | |

IN THE FOREST

 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!


by Oscar Wilde | |

Les Silhouettes

 The sea is flecked with bars of grey,
The dull dead wind is out of tune,
And like a withered leaf the moon
Is blown across the stormy bay.
Etched clear upon the pallid sand Lies the black boat: a sailor boy Clambers aboard in careless joy With laughing face and gleaming hand.
And overhead the curlews cry, Where through the dusky upland grass The young brown-throated reapers pass, Like silhouettes against the sky.


by Oscar Wilde | |

Portia

 (To Ellen Terry)

I marvel not Bassanio was so bold
To peril all he had upon the lead,
Or that proud Aragon bent low his head
Or that Morocco's fiery heart grew cold:
For in that gorgeous dress of beaten gold
Which is more golden than the golden sun
No woman Veronese looked upon
Was half so fair as thou whom I behold.
Yet fairer when with wisdom as your shield The sober-suited lawyer's gown you donned, And would not let the laws of Venice yield Antonio's heart to that accursed Jew - O Portia! take my heart: it is thy due: I think I will not quarrel with the Bond.


by Oscar Wilde | |

Ave Maria Gratia Plena

 Was this His coming! I had hoped to see
A scene of wondrous glory, as was told
Of some great God who in a rain of gold
Broke open bars and fell on Danae:
Or a dread vision as when Semele
Sickening for love and unappeased desire
Prayed to see God's clear body, and the fire
Caught her brown limbs and slew her utterly:
With such glad dreams I sought this holy place,
And now with wondering eyes and heart I stand
Before this supreme mystery of Love:
Some kneeling girl with passionless pale face,
An angel with a lily in his hand,
And over both the white wings of a Dove.
FLORENCE.


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.
'


by Oscar Wilde | |

Chanson

 A ring of gold and a milk-white dove
Are goodly gifts for thee,
And a hempen rope for your own love
To hang upon a tree.
For you a House of Ivory, (Roses are white in the rose-bower)! A narrow bed for me to lie, (White, O white, is the hemlock flower)! Myrtle and jessamine for you, (O the red rose is fair to see)! For me the cypress and the rue, (Finest of all is rosemary)! For you three lovers of your hand, (Green grass where a man lies dead)! For me three paces on the sand, (Plant lilies at my head)!


by Oscar Wilde | |

Sonnet On Hearing The Dies Irae Sung In The Sistine Chapel

 Nay, Lord, not thus! white lilies in the spring,
Sad olive-groves, or silver-breasted dove,
Teach me more clearly of Thy life and love
Than terrors of red flame and thundering.
The hillside vines dear memories of Thee bring: A bird at evening flying to its nest Tells me of One who had no place of rest: I think it is of Thee the sparrows sing.
Come rather on some autumn afternoon, When red and brown are burnished on the leaves, And the fields echo to the gleaner's song, Come when the splendid fulness of the moon Looks down upon the rows of golden sheaves, And reap Thy harvest: we have waited long.


by Oscar Wilde | |

HELAS!

 To drift with every passion till my soul
Is a stringed lute on which can 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?