Phedre

by Oscar Wilde

(To Sarah Bernhardt)

How vain and dull this common world must seem

To such a One as thou, who should'st have talked

At Florence with Mirandola, or walked

Through the cool olives of the Academe:

Thou should'st have gathered reeds from a green stream

For Goat-foot Pan's shrill piping, and have played

With the white girls in that Phaeacian glade

Where grave Odysseus wakened from his dream.

Ah! surely once some urn of Attic clay

Held thy wan dust, and thou hast come again

Back to this common world so dull and vain,

For thou wert weary of the sunless day,

The heavy fields of scentless asphodel,

The loveless lips with which men kiss in Hell.