by: Oscar Wilde

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.

'The Grave of Shelley' was originally published in Poems (1881).


  1. Mona Risk // November 5, 2010 at 10:36 AM  

    Bianca, I like the picture. The poem is very deep and too somber for my taste.

  2. Beth Trissel // November 5, 2010 at 11:53 AM  

    Wilde is always brilliant.

  3. Mary Ricksen // November 5, 2010 at 1:23 PM  

    What a mind eh?

  4. Mary Marvella // November 5, 2010 at 5:52 PM  

    It is indeed somber, but the man has a way with word images.

  5. Autumn Jordon // November 6, 2010 at 9:16 AM  

    Ah, the imagery. I love reading poetry. Great examples of writing tight.

    Thanks for reminding me to take the time to read more.

  6. Joanne // November 7, 2010 at 12:42 PM  

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Wilde is really something---such a brilliant man.

  7. Judy // November 7, 2010 at 1:27 PM  

    Thanks...I love the tomb stone. It's always interesting to go back and read something written in the "olden days". Wonder what writings of our time will remain throughout the years, especially in this age of ebooks!