Verse > Oscar Wilde > Poems

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

60. Tædium Vitæ

TO stab my youth with desperate knives, to wear 
This paltry age’s gaudy livery, 
To let each base hand filch my treasury, 
To mesh my soul within a woman’s hair, 
And be mere Fortune’s lackeyed groom,—I swear         5
I love it not! these things are less to me 
Than the thin foam that frets upon the sea, 
Less than the thistle-down of summer air 
Which hath no seed: better to stand aloof 
Far from these slanderous fools who mock my life  10
Knowing me not, better the lowliest roof 
Fit for the meanest hind to sojourn in, 
Than to go back to that hoarse cave of strife 
Where my white soul first kissed the mouth of sin. 



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