Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin, the son of an eye-surgeon and a literary hostess and writer (known under the pseudonym "Speranza"). After studying at Trinity College, Dublin, Wilde went to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he achieved a double first and won the Newdigate prize for a poem Ravenna.
While at Oxford he became notorious for his flamboyant wit, talent, charm and aestheticism, and this reputation soon won him a place in London society. Bunthorne, the Fleshly Poet in Gilbert and Sullivan's opera Patience was widely thought to be a caricature of Wilde (though in fact it was intended as a skit of Rosetti) and Wilde seems to have consciously ... more »
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Oscar Wilde Poems
THE wild bee reels from bough to bough With his furry coat and his gauzy wing. Now in a lily-cup, and now Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
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
Flower Of Love
Sweet, I blame you not, for mine the fault was, had I not been made of common clay I had climbed the higher heights unclimbed yet, seen the fuller air, the larger day.
The Ballad Of Reading Gaol
He did not wear his scarlet coat, For blood and wine are red, And blood and wine were on his hands When they found him with the dead, The poor dead woman whom he loved, And murdered in her bed.
OFT have we trod the vales of Castaly And heard sweet notes of sylvan music blown From antique reeds to common folk unknown:
Ava Maria Plena Gratia
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
AS one who poring on a Grecian urn Scans the fair shapes some Attic hand hath made, God with slim goddess, goodly man with maid, And for their beauty's sake is loth to turn
IS it thy will that I should wax and wane, Barter my cloth of gold for hodden grey, And at thy pleasure weave that web of pain Whose brightest threads are each a wasted day?
Beautiful star with the crimson lips And flagrant daffodil hair, Come back, come back, in the shaking ships
O well for him who lives at ease With garnered gold in wide domain, Nor heeds the splashing of the rain,
HOW steep the stairs within Kings' houses are For exile-wearied feet as mine to tread, And O how salt and bitter is the bread Which falls from this Hound's table,--better far
The Harlot's House
We caught the tread of dancing feet, We loitered down the moonlit street, And stopped beneath the harlot's house.
Ballad Of Reading Gaol - I
Version I He did not wear his scarlet coat, For blood and wine are red,
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,
Quotationsmore quotations »
''I have nothing to declare except my genius.''Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Attributed in Oscar Wilde, ch. 6, Richard Ellman (1987). Remark at the New York Customs, ...
''For an artist to marry his model is as fatal as for a gourmet to marry his cook: the one gets no sittings, and the other gets no dinners.''Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Aristotle at Afternoon Tea: The Rare Oscar Wilde (1991). "London Models," English Il...
''The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.''Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Miss Prism, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 2 (1895). Speaking of her own novel.
''The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.''Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, ch. 1 (1891).
''By persistently remaining single, a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation. Men should be more careful.''Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Miss Prism, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 2.
THE wild bee reels from bough to bough
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing.
Now in a lily-cup, and now
Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
In his wandering;
Sit closer love: it was here I trow
I made that vow,
Swore that two lives should be like one
As long as the sea-gull loved the sea,
As long as the sunflower sought the sun,--
It shall be, I said, for eternity