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(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

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Her Voice

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
'Twixt you and me!
Dear friend, those times are over and done,
Love's web is spun.

Look upward where the poplar trees
Sway and sway in the summer air,
Here in the valley never a breeze
Scatters the thistledown, but there
Great winds blow fair
From the mighty murmuring mystical seas,
And the wave-lashed leas.

Look upward where the white gull screams,
What does it see that we do not see?
Is that a star? or the lamp that gleams
On some outward voyaging argosy,--
Ah! can it be
We have lived our lives in a land of dreams!
How sad it seems.

Sweet, there is nothing left to say
But this, that love is never lost,
Keen winter stabs the breasts of May
Whose crimson roses burst his frost,
Ships tempest-tossed
Will find a harbour in some bay,
And so we may.

And there is nothing left to do
But to kiss once again, and part,
Nay, there is nothing we should rue,
I have my beauty,--you your Art,
Nay, do not start,
One world was not enough for two
Like me and you.

Submitted: Friday, May 18, 2001

Read poems about / on: sea, winter, star, kiss, sad, summer, friend, beauty, lost, sun, world, love, dream, rose, tree, wind

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Comments about this poem (Ballade De Marguerite by Oscar Wilde )

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  • Patricia Northall (3/20/2014 11:22:00 AM)

    I found this a very romantic, but rather sad too. Wilde certainly has a style so different to poets
    such as Keats, Byron, even Wordsworth. The length of this poem is just right, and the first
    verse takes you right to the heart of his thoughts and feelings of a love that cannot be, but remembers so well their time together in the second verse, climaxing with such clarity their
    parting, and insignificance in the world around them.
    I felt very much the emotional need, and separation between two lovers.
    Pat Northall

    0 person liked.
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  • Colleen Courtney (3/20/2014 9:48:00 AM)

    Gosh, haven't read this in a long time. It still and will forever be an amazing piece. How can anyone not appreciate the beauty?

  • Paul Reed (3/20/2014 3:56:00 AM)

    I wonder which poem is Straw's favourite? Perhaps some verse so deeply founded in factual accuracy that it fails to move the soul?

  • Steven Harris (3/20/2013 3:49:00 AM)

    Even after all these years, it still works.

  • Catherine Harper (1/18/2013 9:32:00 AM)

    I don't know for you but I have to admit that it is the greatest poem that history has met It's actually my fav...And just to answer to mr.Straw, a poet can make to his poem whatever he wants...You can't tell the artist not to paint the sea pink or tell the musician to stop writing his own music or tell the poet not to write something out of the world...And for Oscar Wilde's defence I may be a 14-year-old girl and maybe I know nothing of poetry, but I know that everubody knows Wilde so you can comment on his work but not the way you did...
    PS I'm so sorry for any grammtical or vocabulary mistakes but I'm Greek....

  • Ray Quesada (10/3/2012 4:52:00 PM)

    utter genius. always loved Wilde. i think the job of the poet is to carry the feelings of all human beings within their hearts. emotions in their most naked form have no words to properly describe them, and yet, the world is occasionally blessed with men and women who feel the weight and love and sadnesses of the world so strongly that it haunts them day and night. their only option, not to get rid of it, but to understand it and thus be able to deal with it, is to write it in the form of poetry. They write not in ink. they write in tears and in the blood drawn from their very hearts.

  • Carlos Echeverria (3/20/2012 10:48:00 AM)

    Wilde's sexual orientation may bias the judgement of his critics. This poem is sex-neutral, however, and as a love poem-it speaks to all lovers.

  • Paul Brookes (3/20/2012 2:33:00 AM)

    This is a very British poem. If Mr Straw would like to know May's breast can be stabbed by winter, we have such weird weather we can have sun, rain, snow, and hail all in the same afternoon in spring! ! Also has he never heard of poetic licence. It not meant to be literal. e.g. The sun flower seeks the sun etc. Plus Gulls are found all over the place on land as well as sea. I have some flying out back at this moment and they live here all year. I live 70 miles from the sea.

  • Grissell M (4/1/2010 7:32:00 AM)

    ...there is nothing left to say
    But this, that love is never lost,
    How sweet the smell of love in the breath of needy

  • Assorted Thoughts (3/20/2010 8:50:00 PM)

    I don't know much about poetry but one of my favorite quotes is, The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived ~
    Oscar Wilde.

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