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Classic Love Poems: Oscar Wilde

  Oscar Wilde - Her Voice
  Oscar Wilde - The Silence of Love
  Oscar Wilde - We Are Made One with What We Touch and See
  Oscar Wilde - Helas
  Oscar Wilde - To My Wife
  Oscar Wilde - Chanson

Oscar Wilde - 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.


Oscar Wilde - The Silence of Love

 
As oftentimes the too resplendent sun
Hurries the pallid and reluctant moon
Back to her sombre cave, ere she hath won
A single ballad from the nightingale,
So doth thy Beauty make my lips to fail,
And all my sweetest singing out of tune.

And as at dawn across the level mead
On wings impetuous some wind will come,
And with its too harsh kisses break the reed
Which was its only instrument of song,
So my too stormy passions work me wrong,
And for excess of Love my Love is dumb.

But surely unto Thee mine eyes did show
Why I am silent, and my lute unstrung;
Else it were better we should part, and go,
Thou to some lips of sweeter melody,
And I to nurse the barren memory
Of unkissed kisses, and songs never sung.

Oscar Wilde - We Are Made One with What We Touch and See

 
We are resolved into the supreme air,
We are made one with what we touch and see,
With our heart’s blood each crimson sun is fair,
With our young lives each spring-impassioned tree
Flames into green, the wildest beasts that range
The moor our kinsmen are, all life is one, and all is change.

With beat of systole and of diastole
One grand great life throbs through earth’s giant heart,
And mighty waves of single Being roll
From nerve-less germ to man, for we are part
Of every rock and bird and beast and hill,
One with the things that prey on us, and one with what we kill. . . .

One sacrament are consecrate, the earth
Not we alone hath passions hymeneal,
The yellow buttercups that shake for mirth
At daybreak know a pleasure not less real
Than we do, when in some fresh-blossoming wood
We draw the spring into our hearts, and feel that life is good. . . .

Is the light vanished from our golden sun,
Or is this daedal-fashioned earth less fair,
That we are nature’s heritors, and one
With every pulse of life that beats the air?
Rather new suns across the sky shall pass,
New splendour come unto the flower, new glory to the grass.

And we two lovers shall not sit afar,
Critics of nature, but the joyous sea
Shall be our raiment, and the bearded star
Shoot arrows at our pleasure! We shall be
Part of the mighty universal whole,
And through all Aeons mix and mingle with the Kosmic Soul!

We shall be notes in that great Symphony
Whose cadence circles through the rhythmic spheres,
And all the live World’s throbbing heart shall be
One with our heart, the stealthy creeping years
Have lost their terrors now, we shall not die,
The Universe itself shall be our Immortality!

Oscar Wilde - Helas

 
To drift with every passion till my soul
Is a stringed lute on which all winds can play,
Is it for this that I have given away
Mine ancient wisdom, and austere control?
Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll
Scrawled over on some boyish holiday
With idle songs for pipe and virelay,
Which do but mar the secret of the whole.
Surely there was a time I might have trod
The sunlit heights, and from life’s dissonance
Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God.
Is that time dead? lo! with a little rod
I did but touch the honey of romance
And must I lose a soul’s inheritance?

Oscar Wilde - To My Wife

 
I can write no stately proem
As a prelude to my lay;
From a poet to a poem
I would dare to say.

For if of these fallen petals
One to you seem fair,
Love will waft it till it settles
On your hair.

And when wind and winter harden
All the loveless land,
It will whisper of the garden,
You will understand.

Oscar Wilde - Chanson

 
A ring of gold and a milk-white dove
Are goodly gifts for thee,
And a hempen rope for your own love
To hang upon a tree.

For you a House of Ivory,
(Roses are white in the rose-bower)!
A narrow bed for me to lie,
(White, O white, is the hemlock flower)!

Myrtle and jessamine for you,
(O the red rose is fair to see)!
For me the cypress and the rue,
(Finest of all is rosemary)!

For you three lovers of your hand,
(Green grass where a man lies dead)!
For me three paces on the sand,
(Plant lilies at my head)!

Love Poems

Alexander Pushkin
Ben Jonson
Carl Sandburg
Dante Alighieri
D. H. Lawrence
Edgar Allen Poe
E.E. Cummings
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Emily Dickinson
Goethe
Lord Byron
Oscar Wilde
Pablo Neruda
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Robert Browning
Robert Herrick
Robert Frost
Walter Savage Landor
William Shakespeare


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