Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Apologia (Author: Oscar Wilde)


  1. 1] Is it thy will that I should wax and wane,
    2] Barter my cloth of gold for hodden grey,
    3] And at thy pleasure weave that web of pain
    4] Whose brightest threads are each a wasted day?
  2. 5] Is it thy will—Love that I love so well—
    6] That my Soul's House should be a tortured spot
    7] Wherein, like evil paramours, must dwell
    8] The quenchless flame, the worm that dieth not?
  3. 9] Nay, if it be thy will I shall endure,
    10] And sell ambition at the common mart,
    11] And let dull failure be my vestiture,
    12] And sorrow dig its grave within my heart.
  4. 13] Perchance it may be better so—at least
    14] I have not made my heart a heart of stone,
    15] Nor starved my boyhood of its goodly feast,
    16] Nor walked where Beauty is a thing unknown.
  5. 17] Many a man hath done so; sought to fence
    18] In straitened bonds the soul that should be free,
    19] Trodden the dusty road of common sense,
    20] While all the forest sang of liberty.
  6. 21] Not marking how the spotted hawk in flight
    22] Passed on wide pinion through the lofty air,
    23] To where the steep untrodden mountain height
    24] Caught the last tresses of the Sun God's hair.
  7. 25] Or how the little flower he trod upon,
    26] The daisy, that white-feathered shield of gold,
    27] Followed with wistful eyes the wandering sun
    28] Content if once its leaves were aureoled.
  8. 29] But surely it is something to have been
    30] The best belovèd for a little while,
    31] To have walked hand in hand with Love, and seen
    32] His purple wings flit once across thy smile.
  9. 33] Ay! though the gorgèd asp of passion feed
    34] On my boy's heart, yet have I burst the bars,
    35] Stood face to face with Beauty, known indeed
    36] The Love which moves the Sun and all the stars!