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    Helas!

    by Oscar Wilde
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    To drift with every passion till my soul
    Is a stringed lute on which all winds can play,
    Is it for this that I have given away
    Mine ancient wisdom, and austere control?
    Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll
    Scrawled over on some boyish holiday
    With idle songs for pipe and virelay,
    Which do but mar the secret of the whole.
    Surely there was a time I might have trod
    The sunlit heights, and from life's dissonance
    Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God:
    Is that time dead? lo! with a little rod
    I did but touch the honey of romance--
    And must I lose a soul's inheritance?
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