One of my favourite Wilde poems, Taedium Vitae
To stab my youth with desperate knives, to wear
This paltry age’s gaudy livery,
To let each base hand filch my treasury,
To mesh my soul within a woman’s hair,
And to be mere Fortune’s lackeyed groom, – I swear
I love it not! these things are less to me
Than the thin foam that frets upon the sea,
Less than the thistledown of summer air
Which hath no seed: better to stand aloof
Far from these slanderous fools who mock my life
Knowing me not, better the lowliest roof
Fit for the meanest hind to sojourn in,
Than to go back to that hoarse cave of strife
Where my white soul first kissed the mouth of sin.
I just love this poem so much. It’s not often that Wilde gets so explicitly bleak in his writing. He wears it well, and it’s especially poignant considering what happened to him at the hands of the public.