Charmides Iii Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


In melancholy moonless AcheronA
Farm for the goodly earth and joyous dayB
Where no spring ever buds nor ripening sunA
Weighs down the apple trees nor flowery MayB
Chequers with chestnut blooms the grassy floorC
Where thrushes never sing and piping linnets mate no moreC
There by a dim and dark Lethaean wellD
Young Charmides was lying wearilyE
He plucked the blossoms from the asphodelE
And with its little rifled treasuryE
Strewed the dull waters of the dusky streamF
And watched the white stars founder and the land was like a dreamF
When as he gazed into the watery glassG
And through his brown hair's curly tangles scannedH
His own wan face a shadow seemed to passG
Across the mirror and a little handH
Stole into his and warm lips timidlyE
Brushed his pale cheeks and breathed their secret forth into aI
Then turned he round his weary eyes and sawK
And ever nigher still their faces cameL
And nigher ever did their young mouths drawK
Until they seemed one perfect rose of flameL
And longing arms around her neck he castM
And felt her throbbing bosom and his breath came hot and fastM
And all his hoarded sweets were hers to kissN
And all her maidenhood was his to slayE
And limb to limb in long and rapturous blissN
Their passion waxed and waned O why essayE
To pipe again of love too venturous reedO
Enough enough that Eros laughed upon that flowerless meadO
Too venturous poesy O why essayE
To pipe again of passion fold thy wingsP
O'er daring Icarus and bid thy layE
Sleep hidden in the lyre's silent stringsP
Till thou hast found the old Castalian rillE
Or from the Lesbian waters plucked drowned Sappho's golden quidQ
Enough enough that he whose life had beenA
A fiery pulse of sin a splendid shameL
Could in the loveless land of Hades gleanA
One scorching harvest from those fields of flameL
Where passion walks with naked unshod feetR
And is not wounded ah enough that once their lips could meetR
In that wild throb when all existencesP
Seemed narrowed to one single ecstasyP
Which dies through its own sweetness and the stressP
Of too much pleasure ere PersephoneA
Had bade them serve her by the ebon throneA
Of the pale God who in the fields of Enna loosed her zoneA

Oscar Wilde


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