Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition

Background details and bibliographic information

The New Helen

Author: Oscar Wilde

File Description

Electronic edition compiled by Donnchadh Ó Corráin

Funded by University College, Cork

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Proof corrections by Margaret Lantry, Donnchadh Ó Corráin

Extent of text: 1810 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork
College Road, Cork, Ireland—

(1997) (2009)

Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: E850003-049

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Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.


There is not as yet an authoritative edition of Wilde's works.


    Select editions
  1. The writings of Oscar Wilde (London; New York: A. R. Keller & Co. 1907) 15 vols.
  2. Robert Ross (ed), The First Collected Edition of the Works of Oscar Wilde (London: Methuen & Co. 1908). 15 vols. Reprinted Dawsons: Pall Mall 1969.
  3. Complete works of Oscar Wilde (Glasgow: HarperCollins, 1994).
    Select bibliography
  1. 'Notes for a bibliography of Oscar Wilde', Books and book-plates (A quarterly for collectors) 5, no. 3 (April 1905), 170-183.
  2. Karl E. Beckson, The Oscar Wilde encyclopedia (New York: AMS Press 1998). AMS Studies in the nineteenth century 18.
  3. Richard Ellmann (ed), The Artist as Critic: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde (Chicago 1982).
  4. Richard Ellmann; John Espey, Oscar Wilde: two approaches: papers read at a Clark Library seminar, April 17, 1976 (Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California 1977).
  5. Richard Ellmann, Oscar Wilde at Oxford: a lecture delivered at the Library of Congress on March 1, 1983 (Washington, DC: Library of Congress 1984).
  6. Richard Ellmann, Oscar Wilde: a biography (London: Hamilton 1987).
  7. Juliet Gardiner, Oscar Wilde: a life in letters, writings and wit (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1995).
  8. Frank Harris, Oscar Wilde, including My memories of Oscar Wilde, by George Bernard Shaw and an introductory note by Lyle Blair (London: Robinson, 1992).
  9. Rupert Hart-Davis (ed), Selected letters of Oscar Wilde (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1979).
  10. Rupert Hart-Davis (ed), More letters of Oscar Wilde (London: Murray 1985).
  11. Vyvyan Beresford Holland, Oscar Wilde: a pictorial biography (London: Thames & Hudson 1960).
  12. H. Montgomery Hyde, Oscar Wilde: a biography (London: Methuen 1977).
  13. Andrew McDonnell, Oscar Wilde at Oxford: an annotated catalogue of Wilde manuscripts and related items at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, including many hitherto unpublished letters, photographs and illustrations (A. McDonnell 1996). Limited edition of 170 copies.
  14. Stuart Mason, Bibliography of Oscar Wilde (London: E. G. Richards 1907). Also pubd. New York 1908, London 1914 in 2 vols. Repr. of 1914 edition: New York: Haskell House 1972.
  15. E. H. Mikhail, Oscar Wilde: an annotated bibliography of criticism (London: Macmillan 1978). Also pubd. Totowa NJ: Rowman & Littlefield 1978.
  16. Thomas A. Mikolyzk, Oscar Wilde: an annotated bibliography (Westport CT: Greenwood Press 1993). Bibliographies and indexes in world literature, 38.
  17. Norman Page, An Oscar Wilde chronology (London: Macmillan 1991).
  18. Hesketh Pearson, A Life of Oscar Wilde (London 1946).
  19. Richard Pine, The thief of reason: Oscar Wilde and modern Ireland (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1996).
  20. Horst Schroeder, Additions and corrections to Richard Ellmann's Oscar Wilde (Braunschweig: H. Schroeder 1989).
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Oscar Wilde The New Helen in The Works of Oscar Wilde. , London, Galley Press (1987) page 717–719


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CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

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Profile Description

Created: By Oscar Wilde (1854–1900). (1881)

Use of language

Language: [EN] The text is in English.
Language: [FR] Occasional words and phrases are in French.

Revision History

Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: E850003-049

The New Helen: Author: Oscar Wilde


  1. 1] Where hast thou been since round the walls of Troy
    2] The sons of God fought in that great emprise?
    3] Why dost thou walk our common earth again?
    4] Hast thou forgotten that impassioned boy,
    5] His purple galley, and his Tyrian men,
    6] And treacherous Aphrodite's mocking eyes?
    7] For surely it was thou, who, like a star
    8] Hung in the silver silence of the night,
    9] Didst lure the Old World's chivalry and might
    10] Into the clamorous crimson waves of war!
  2. 11] Or didst thou rule the fire-laden moon?
    12] In amorous Sidon was thy temple built
    13] Over the light and laughter of the sea?
    14] Where, behind lattice scarlet-wrought and gilt,
    15] Some brown-limbed girl did weave thee tapestry
    16] All through the waste and wearied hours of noon;
    17] Till her wan cheek with flame of passion burned,
    18] And she rose up the sea-washed lips to kiss
    19] Of some glad Cyprian sailor, safe returned
    20] From Calpé and the cliffs of Herakles!
  3. 21] No! thou art Helen, and none other one!
    22] It was for thee that young Sarpedôn died,
    23] And Memnôn's manhood was untimely spent;
    24] It was for thee gold-crested Hector tried
    25] With Thetis' child that evil race to run,
    26] In the last year of thy beleaguerment;
    27] Ay! even now the glory of thy fame
    28] Burns in those fields of trampled asphodel,
    29] Where the high lords whom Ilion knew so well
    30] Clash ghostly shields, and call upon thy name.
  4. 31] Where hast thou been? in that enchanted land
    32] Whose slumbering vales forlorn Calypso knew,
    33] Where never mower rose to greet the day
    34] But all unswathed the trammelling grasses grew,
    35] And the sad shepherd saw the tall corn stand
    36] Till summer's red had changed to withered grey?
    37] Didst thou lie there by some Lethæan stream
    38] Deep brooding on thine ancient memory,
    39] The crash of broken spears, the fiery gleam
    40] From shivered helm, the Grecian battle-cry?

  5. p.718

  6. 41] Nay, thou wert hidden in that hollow hill
    42] With one who is forgotten utterly,
    43] That discrowned Queen men call the Erycine;
    44] Hidden away that never mightst thou see
    45] The face of Her, before whose mouldering shrine
    46] To-day at Rome the silent nations kneel;
    47] Who gat from Love no joyous gladdening,
    48] But only Love's intolerable pain,
    49] Only a sword to pierce her heart in twain,
    50] Only the bitterness of child-bearing.
  7. 51] The lotus-leaves which heal the wounds of Death
    52] Lie in thy hand; O, be thou kind to me,
    53] While yet I know the summer of my days;
    54] For hardly can my tremulous lips draw breath
    55] To fill the silver trumpet with thy praise,
    56] So bowed am I before thy mystery;
    57] So bowed and broken on Love's terrible wheel,
    58] That I have lost all hope and heart to sing,
    59] Yet care I not what ruin time may bring
    60] If in thy temple thou wilt let me kneel.
  8. 61] Alas, alas, thou wilt not tarry here,
    62] But, like that bird, the servant of the sun,
    63] Who flies before the northwind and the night,
    64] So wilt thou fly our evil land and drear,
    65] Back to the tower of thine old delight,
    66] And the red lips of young Euphorion;
    67] Nor shall I ever see thy face again,
    68] But in this poisonous garden must I stay,
    69] Crowning my brows with the thorn-crown of pain,
    70] Till all my loveless life shall pass away.
  9. 71] O Helen! Helen! Helen! yet a while,
    72] Yet for a little while, O, tarry here,
    73] Till the dawn cometh and the shadows flee!
    74] For in the gladsome sunlight of thy smile
    75] Of heaven or hell I have no thought or fear,
    76] Seeing I know no other god but thee:
    77] No other god save him, before whose feet
    78] In nets of gold the tired planets move,
    79] The incarnate spirit of spiritual love
    80] Who in thy body holds his joyous seat.
  10. 81] Thou wert not born as common women are!
    82] But, girt with silver splendour of the foam,
    83] Didst from the depths of sapphire seas arise!
    84] And at thy coming some immortal star,


    85] Bearded with flame, blazed in the Eastern skies,
    86] And waked the shepherds on thine island-home.
    87] Thou shalt not die: no asps of Egypt creep
    88] Close at thy heels to taint the delicate air;
    89] No sullen-blooming poppies stain thy hair,
    90] Those scarlet heralds of eternal sleep.
  11. 91] Lily of love, pure and inviolate!
    92] Tower of ivory! red rose of fire!
    93] Thou hast come down our darkness to illume:
    94] For we, close-caught in the wide nets of Fate,
    95] Wearied with waiting for the World's Desire,
    96] Aimlessly wandered in the house of gloom,
    97] Aimlessly sought some slumberous anodyne
    98] For wasted lives, for lingering wretchedness,
    99] Till we beheld thy re-arisen shrine,
    100] And the white glory of thy loveliness.