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by Oscar Wilde, 1881

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?

Published in Poems

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