Oscar Wilde

(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

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Camma


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
And face the obvious day, must I not yearn
For many a secret moon of indolent bliss,
When in the midmost shrine of Artemis
I see thee standing, antique-limbed, and stern?

And yet--methinks I'd rather see thee play
That serpent of old Nile, whose witchery
Made Emperors drunken,--come, great Egypt, shake
Our stage with all thy mimic pageants! Nay,
I am grown sick of unreal passions, make
The world thine Actium, me thine Antony!

Submitted: Friday, May 18, 2001
Edited: Friday, May 18, 2001

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  • Stephen Loomes (9/27/2013 3:19:00 AM)

    With Dylan Thomas, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, wonderful Oscar Wilde was in the pantheon of great poets of the 20th century, there are no others, just lots of pretenders. (Report) Reply

  • Karen Sinclair (9/27/2012 2:09:00 AM)

    I adore the first two lines as i believe he is suggesting the form he lays eyes on was made by some attic hand (god) and he compares the form to the greek gods....antique limbed and stern? (he questions) ... interesting, i think maybe the silence after an argument....it seems he then toys with the idea of fun and amusement but by the end (to me) it seems he is just resigned and lost interest in the shallowest forms and places....... the world thine actium (final battle) and me thine anthony (defeated) suggesting he knew he was always going to adore the subject no matter what his sense told him......this is so real and contemporary... plz note this is just my perception and first reaction....tyvm karen (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (9/27/2011 8:23:00 AM)

    Love passion has brought down many empires in old Greek as well as in Egypt one comes to know from World History and as in the Urns of the past searching in antic shops! Real passion is far more better than old sickening passion that is quite unreal indeed! (Report) Reply

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