Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Requiescat - Oscar Wilde

Tread lightly, she is near
Under the snow,
Speak gently, she can hear
The daisies grow.

All her bright golden hair
Tarnished with rust,
She that was young and fair
Fallen to dust.

Lily-like, white as snow,
She hardly knew
She was a woman, so
Sweetly she grew.

Coffin-board, heavy stone,
Lie on her breast,
I vex my heart alone
She is at rest.

Peace, peace, she cannot hear
Lyre or sonnet,
All my life's buried here,
Heap earth upon it.

Touching, direct, unvarnished emotion.  There's something to be said for such direct expression as this.  Sentimental without being sappy, sad without being depressing, it captures the beauty of whatever young woman is presumably now dead.  Her faded beauty is made more distressing by the state of her current decomposition.  Most of all, I'm struck by the strength of the loss.  Direct emotion is very hard to capture successfully, but when it works, it's wonderful and sticks with you.

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