Vita Nuova

by Oscar Wilde

I stood by the unvintageable sea

Till the wet waves drenched face and hair with spray;

The long red fires of the dying day

Burned in the west; the wind piped drearily;

And to the land the clamorous gulls did flee:

'Alas!' I cried, 'my life is full of pain,

And who can garner fruit or golden grain

From these waste fields which travail ceaselessly!'

My nets gaped wide with many a break and flaw,

Nathless I threw them as my final cast

Into the sea, and waited for the end.

When lo! a sudden glory! and I saw

From the black waters of my tortured past

The argent splendour of white limbs ascend!