Helas!

Lines Written In Early Spring

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?

by Oscar Wilde

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