HELAS!

by Oscar Wilde

To drift with every passion till my soul

Is a stringed lute on which can 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

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

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 a soul's inheritance?