He did not wear his scarlet coat, For blood and wine are red,And blood and wine were on his hands When they found him with the dead,The poor dead woman whom he loved, And murdered in her bed.

And all men kill the thing they love, By all let this be heard,Some do it with a bitter look, Some with a flattering word,The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword!

Ballad of Reading Gaol
Oscar Wilde, 1898


  1. Beth Trissel // April 16, 2008 at 3:19 PM  

    Wow. Deep. That Wilde. Amazing man.

  2. Mary Marvella // April 16, 2008 at 8:06 PM  

    He says so much with such simple statements.

  3. Nightingale // April 17, 2008 at 12:55 PM  

    I was going to use the first stanza (is it stanza?) as the quote opening Cardinal Desires. Thought it appropos. I think I did use it in Sinners Opera as I included a quote at the beginning of each chapter. Wonder if the editor will like or hate that?