Verse > Oscar Wilde > Poems

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900).  Poems.  1881.

54. At Verona

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 
That I had died in the red ways of war,         5
  Or that the gate of Florence bare my head, 
  Than to live thus, by all things comraded 
Which seek the essence of my soul to mar. 
“Curse God and die: what better hope than this? 
  He hath forgotten thee in all the bliss  10
  Of his gold city, and eternal day”— 
Nay peace: behind my prison’s blinded bars 
  I do possess what none can take away, 
  My love, and all the glory of the stars. 



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