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Apologia by Oscar Wilde


"Apologia" is a poem written by Oscar Wilde. "Apologia" means to defend one's actions or opinions. In this writing, Wilde is defending himself for how he mourns. He is asking if he should sell his clothes so he can wear a duller color or should he not have fun simply because something horrible happened? Instead of being sad about losing his love, he is happy that he ever did love.

"Apologia" is a nine stanza poem with two of the stanzas consisting of three lines while the other seven have four. The four-lined stanzas have the rhyme scheme of ABAB while the three lined stanzas are rhymed ABA. The four-lined stanzas are written fully in iambic-pentameter while the first line of the three-lined stanzas are started with a more lengthy line followed by two iambic-pentameters.



IS it thy will that I should wax and wane,
Barter my cloth of gold for hodden grey,
And at thy pleasure weave that web of pain
Whose brightest threads are each a wasted day?

Is it thy will That my Soul's House should be a tortured spot
Wherein, like evil paramours, must dwell
The quenchless flame, the worm that dieth not?

Nay, if it be thy will I shall endure,
And sell ambition at the common mart,
And let dull failure be my vestiture,
And sorrow dig its grave within my heart.

Perchance it may be better so I have not made my heart a heart of stone,
Nor starved my boyhood of its goodly feast,
Nor walked where Beauty is a thing unknown.

Many a man hath done so; sought to fence
In straitened bonds the soul that should be free,
Trodden the dusty road of common sense,
While all the forest sang of liberty,

Not marking how the spotted hawk in flight
Passed on wide pinion through the lofty air,
To where the steep untrodden mountain height
Caught the last tresses of the Sun God¹s hair.

Or how the little flower he trod upon,
The daisy, that white-feathered shield of gold,
Followed with wistful eyes the wandering sun
Content if once its leaves were aureoled.

But surely it is something to have been
The best belovèd for a little while,
To have walked hand in hand with Love, and seen
His purple wings flit once across thy smile.

Ay! though the gorgèd asp of passion feed
On my boy's heart, yet have I burst the bars,
Stood face to face with Beauty, known indeed
The Love which moves the Sun and all the stars!

Next: Ave Maria Gratia Plena
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