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  • Ana Savković

Oscar Wilde: Wasted Days and True Knowledge

Image: Unsplash, downloaded ( 8.11.2021.

Wasted Days A fair slim boy not made for this world's pain, With hair of gold thick clustering round his ears, And longing eyes half veiled by foolish tears Like bluest water seen through mists of rain; Pale cheeks whereon no kiss hath left its stain, Red under lip drawn for fear of Love, And white throat whiter than the breast of dove- Alas! alas! if all should be in vain.

Corn-fields behind, and reapers all a-row In heat and labour toiling wearily, To no sweet sound of laughter or of lute.

And careless of the crimson sunset glow, The boy still dreams: nor knows that night is night, And in the night-time no man gathers fruit.

Taedium Vitae

To stab my youth with desperate knives, to wear This paltry age's gaudy livery, To let each base hand filch my treasury, To mesh my soul within a woman's hair, And be mere Fortune's lackeyed groom, - I swear I love it not! these things are less to me Than the thin foam that frets upon the sea, Less than the thistledown of summer air Which hath no seed: better to stand aloof Far from these slanderous fools who mock my life Knowing me not, better the lowliest roof Fit for the meanest hind to sojourn in, Than to go back to that hoarse cave of strife Where my white soul first kissed the mouth of sin.

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.

Source: The poems and fairy tales of Oscar Wilde (Wilde, O. (1932?) The poems and fairy tales of Oscar Wilde, New York: Random House)


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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