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The Grave Of Shelley by Oscar Wilde

Analysis

"The Grave Of Shelley" is a poem written by Oscar Wilde. It is a solute to his fellow poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Despite common belief, Shelley and Wilde were not friends as they were not alive at the same time (Shelley died in 1822 and Wilde wasn't born until 1854). Instead, Wilde admired Shelley's writing considerably and wrote this poem to show his affection.

"The Grave Of Shelley" is written as a sonnet. It consists of two parts, one with eight lines and the other with six. It is written in iambic-pentameter with the rhyme scheme ABBAACCA-DEDEDE. Even though this isn't the typical Italian Sonnet form, it is indeed an Italian Sonnet.

Poem


By 

LIKE burnt-out torches by a sick man's bed
Gaunt cypress-trees stand round the sun-bleached stone;
Here doth the little night-owl make her throne,
And the slight lizard show his jewelled head.
And, where the chaliced poppies flame to red,
In the still chamber of yon pyramid
Surely some Old-World Sphinx lurks darkly hid,
Grim warder of this pleasaunce of the dead.

Ah! sweet indeed to rest within the womb
Of Earth, great mother of eternal sleep,
But sweeter far for thee a restless tomb
In the blue cavern of an echoing deep,
Or where the tall ships founder in the gloom
Against the rocks of some wave-shattered steep.

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