Oscar Wilde




Phèdre

To Sarah Bernhardt

How vain and dull this common world must seem	 
  To such a One as thou, who should’st have talked	 
  At Florence with Mirandola, or walked	 
Through the cool olives of the Academe:	 
Thou should’st have gathered reeds from a green stream	      
  For Goat-foot Pan’s shrill piping, and have played	 
  With the white girls in that Phæacian glade	 
Where grave Odysseus wakened from his dream.	 
  
Ah! surely once some urn of Attic clay	 
  Held thy wan dust, and thou hast come again	
  Back to this common world so dull and vain,	 
For thou wert weary of the sunless day,	 
  The heavy fields of scentless asphodel,	 
  The loveless lips with which men kiss in Hell.