Verse > Padraic Colum > Anthology of Irish Verse
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Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  Anthology of Irish Verse.  1922.
 
149. Helas!
 
By Oscar Wilde
 
 
TO drift with every passion till my soul
Is as 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        5
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        10
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 my soul’s inheritance?
 

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