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To C. 33
by [?]


(Oscar Wilde.)

I gazed upon thee desolate and heard
Thine anguished cry when fell the iron gin
That all but broke thy soul, yet gave thy word
The strength to ask forgiveness of thy sin.

I saw thee fleeing from the cruel light
Of thine own fame; I saw thee hide thy face
In alien dust to cover up the blight
Upon thy brow that time may yet erase.

I knew thy creed, although thy lips were mute;
I knew the gods thou didst not dare to own;
I knew the Upas poison at the root
Of thy last flower of song, in prison blown.

And out of all thy woe there came to me
This miracle of dogma, like a cry:
“No law but freedom for the vagrant bee–
No love but summer for the butterfly.”