Oscar Wilde
The Grave of Shelley (1890)

 

Like burnt-out torches by a sick manís bed

 

Gaunt cypress-trees stand round the sun bleached stone;

 

Here doth the little night-owl make her throne,

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And the slight lizard show his jewelled head.

 

And, where the chaliced poppies flame to red,

 

In the still chamber of yon pyramid

 

Surely some Old-World Sphinx lurks darkly hid,

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Grim warder of this pleasance of the dead.

 

 

 

Ah! sweet indeed to rest within the womb

 

Of Earth, great mother of eternal sleep,

 

But sweeter far for thee a restless tomb

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In the blue cavern of an echoing deep,

 

Or where the tall ships founder in the gloom

 

Against the rocks of some wave-shattered steep.