Lord Alfred Douglas

Lord Alfred Douglas Poems

I know a green grass path that leaves the field,
And like a running river, winds along
Into a leafy wood where is no throng
Of birds at noon-day, and no soft throats yield

I have been through the woods to-day
And the leaves were falling,
Summer had crept away,
And the birds were not calling.

I dreamed of him last night, I saw his face
All radiant and unshadowed of distress,
And as of old, in music measureless,
I heard his golden voice and marked him trace

Alas ! I have lost my God,
My beautiful God Apollo.
Wherever his footsteps trod
My feet were wont to follow.

What shall we do, my soul, to please the King?
Seeing he hath no pleasure in the dance,
And hath condemned the honeyed utterance
Of silver flutes and mouths made round to sing.

Not all the singers of a thousand years
Can open English prisons. No. Though hell
Opened for Tracian Orpheus, now the spell
Of song and art is powerless as the tears

Wake up again, sad heart, wake up again !
(I heard the birds this morning singing sweet.)


Alas! and oh that Spring should come again
Upon the soft wings of desired days,
And bring with her no anodyne to pain,

Often the western wind has sung to me,
There have been voices in the streams and meres,
And pitiful trees have told me, God, of Thee :

Dear friend, dear brother, I have owed you this
Since many days, the tribute of a song.
Shall I cheat you who never did a wrong

See what a mass of gems the city wears
Upon her broad live bosom! row on row
Rubies and emeralds and amethysts glow.
See! that huge circle like a necklace, stares

Mere des souvenirs, mattresses des mattresses
Mother of Memories! O mistress-queen !
Oh ! all my joy and all my duty thou !

To see the moment holds a madrigal,
To find some cloistered place, some hermitage
For free devices, some deliberate cage
Wherein to keep wild thoughts like birds in thrall;

Into the silence of the empty night
I went, and took my scorned heart with me,
And all the thousand eyes of heaven were bright;

Most tuneful singer, lover tenderest,
Most sad, most piteous, and most musical,
Thine is the shrine more pilgrim-worn than all

Thou that wast once my loved and loving friend,
A friend no more, I had forgot thee quite,
Why hast thou come to trouble my delight

The frosty sky, like a furnace burning,
The keen air, crisp and cold,
And a sunset that splashes the clouds with gold


Jonquil was a shepherd lad,
White he was as the curded cream,

A treacherous monster is the Shark
He never makes the least remark.

And when he sees you on the sand,
He doesn't seem to want to land.

There is an isle in an unfurrowed sea
That I wot of, whereon the whole year round
The apple-blossoms and the rosebuds be

Lord Alfred Douglas Biography

Lord Alfred Douglas is remembered today for his tumultuous association with Oscar Wilde and as a minor poet. Douglas, universally known as Bosie, was born October 22, 1870, the third son of John Sholto Douglas, ninth Marquess of Queensberry, and Sibyl, née Montgomery. After a boyhood during which his parents separated, Douglas went up from Winchester to Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1889. He met Oscar Wilde through a mutual friend in early summer, 1891, and they became lovers the following spring. Douglas's beauty was "like a narcissus--white and gold," as Wilde told Robert Ross. Most of Douglas's homoerotic poetry was written between 1893 and 1896 and appeared in undergraduate literary journals such as The Spirit Lamp, which he edited, and The Chameleon, or in small-circulation magazines like The Artist. Poems like "Hymn to Physical Beauty" (with a nod to Shelley), the sonnet "In an Aegean Port," and most famously "Two Loves," one of whom concludes the poem by sighing "I am the Love that dare not speak its name" are typical in their wistful tone. Some of these poems appeared in a French edition of Douglas's verse in 1896, but most were not republished until the Sonnets and Lyrics of 1935, and then, at least in the sonnet mentioned, with the homosexual content revised out. In 1895, Douglas's father accused Oscar Wilde of "posing as a sodomite," whereupon Wilde (at Bosie's urging) sued him for libel. At the trial, Queensberry was found not guilty and a warrant was promptly issued for Wilde's arrest. His first trial resulted in a hung jury, but at the second Wilde was found guilty and sentenced to two years' hard labor. Although Douglas and Wilde remained close until the latter's death in 1900, the scandal generated a sheaf of spiteful documents. In prison, Wilde wrote a long and bitter epistle later titled De Profundis, accusing Douglas of betraying their friendship. When the full text of De Profundis was made public in 1913, Douglas responded with Oscar Wilde and Myself, repudiating Wilde and his works. Soon after Wilde's death, Douglas renounced his homosexuality; he married Olive Custance in 1902, and they had a son, Raymond. Douglas converted to Roman Catholicism in 1911, and he and his wife separated two years later. By his own account, Douglas remained celibate thereafter. From 1907 to 1910, Douglas edited the journal The Academy, assisted by the obnoxious T. W. H. Crosland, who in fact, ghost-wrote most of Oscar Wilde and Myself. Douglas revived The Academy in 1920 and 1921 as Plain English, and the journal had a mild commercial success. Editorially, however, it was nonliterary and virulently antisemitic, simply a forum for Douglas's considerable collection of bigotries. Douglas's intemperate expression of his views led to his arrest and conviction for writing and publishing a pamphlet libeling Winston Churchill. He spent six months in Wormwood Scrubs prison. There he turned again to poetry, but his prison writing, a sonnet sequence, was called In Excelsis. Douglas spent the remaining twenty-one years of his life quietly, living in Hove or Brighton on allowances provided by his mother and wife. He produced his Autobiography during this time, several versions of his collected poems, occasional verse, and in 1940, his most judicious account of his life's central experience, Oscar Wilde: A Summing Up.)

The Best Poem Of Lord Alfred Douglas

The Green River

I know a green grass path that leaves the field,
And like a running river, winds along
Into a leafy wood where is no throng
Of birds at noon-day, and no soft throats yield
Their music to the moon. The place is sealed,
An unclaimed sovereignty of voiceless song,
And all the unravished silences belong
To some sweet singer lost or unrevealed.
So is my soul become a silent place.
Oh, may I wake from this uneasy night
To find a voice of music manifold.
Let it be shape of sorrow with wan face,
Or Love that swoons on sleep, or else delight
That is as wide-eyed as a marigold.

Lord Alfred Douglas Comments

pottsie 26 October 2019

I think your mom should be gang-raped....she'd love it?

1 2 Reply
Poet 06 January 2022

Bhkkk pagal. Gande comments mat kiya kar. Acche poet the wo..... bass ek galti ke liye aisa bologe tum... laanat hai tum par

1 0
Jamie 09 November 2017

Where is his most famous poem - 'In Excelsis'?

2 1 Reply
Arqios S 27 May 2015

Two Loves by Lord Alfred Douglas I dreamed I stood upon a little hill, And at my feet there lay a ground, that seemed Like a waste garden, flowering at its will With buds and blossoms. There were pools that dreamed Black and unruffled; there were white lilies A few, and crocuses, and violets Purple or pale, snake-like fritillaries Scarce seen for the rank grass, and through green nets Blue eyes of shy peryenche winked in the sun. And there were curious flowers, before unknown, Flowers that were stained with moonlight, or with shades Of Nature's willful moods; and here a one That had drunk in the transitory tone Of one brief moment in a sunset; blades Of grass that in an hundred springs had been Slowly but exquisitely nurtured by the stars, And watered with the scented dew long cupped In lilies, that for rays of sun had seen Only God's glory, for never a sunrise mars The luminous air of Heaven. Beyond, abrupt, A grey stone wall. o'ergrown with velvet moss Uprose; and gazing I stood long, all mazed To see a place so strange, so sweet, so fair. And as I stood and marvelled, lo! across The garden came a youth; one hand he raised To shield him from the sun, his wind-tossed hair Was twined with flowers, and in his hand he bore A purple bunch of bursting grapes, his eyes Were clear as crystal, naked all was he, White as the snow on pathless mountains frore, Red were his lips as red wine-spilith that dyes A marble floor, his brow chalcedony. And he came near me, with his lips uncurled And kind, and caught my hand and kissed my mouth, And gave me grapes to eat, and said, 'Sweet friend, Come I will show thee shadows of the world And images of life. See from the South Comes the pale pageant that hath never an end.' And lo! within the garden of my dream I saw two walking on a shining plain Of golden light. The one did joyous seem And fair and blooming, and a sweet refrain Came from his lips; he sang of pretty maids And joyous love of comely girl and boy, His eyes were bright, and 'mid the dancing blades Of golden grass his feet did trip for joy; And in his hand he held an ivory lute With strings of gold that were as maidens' hair, And sang with voice as tuneful as a flute, And round his neck three chains of roses were. But he that was his comrade walked aside; He was full sad and sweet, and his large eyes Were strange with wondrous brightness, staring wide With gazing; and he sighed with many sighs That moved me, and his cheeks were wan and white Like pallid lilies, and his lips were red Like poppies, and his hands he clenched tight, And yet again unclenched, and his head Was wreathed with moon-flowers pale as lips of death. A purple robe he wore, o'erwrought in gold With the device of a great snake, whose breath Was fiery flame: which when I did behold I fell a-weeping, and I cried, 'Sweet youth, Tell me why, sad and sighing, thou dost rove These pleasent realms? I pray thee speak me sooth What is thy name? ' He said, 'My name is Love.' Then straight the first did turn himself to me And cried, 'He lieth, for his name is Shame, But I am Love, and I was wont to be Alone in this fair garden, till he came Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.' Then sighing, said the other, 'Have thy will, I am the love that dare not speak its name.' (This poem is in the public domain.)

2 1 Reply
Barry Waterfield 29 November 2011

I must admit that even in death, I find Lord Alfred Douglas obnoxious.I admit that as a boy he was pretty but I've seen prettier and known nicer natured examples. It's a pity Oscar Wilde didn't look around a bit. Douglas was a shallow pretty boy of whom I think it may be said, that the beauty of the outside was not matched the putrid nature of the interior. Hard words perhaps but they are needed, just as a good smack across the bottom was needed both during his growing up and several more times in his middle age.You can easily see the 'quality 'of the brand. He became as vile as his drunken father. As for his poetry, well, perhaps I am no judge here because I do not have a strong feel for poetry, but I think I can respect talent, it does ring some kind of bell and I don't hear any bells when I read Douglas. It is interesting that even the Internet site 'Find a Grave' contains more than one negative entry about this vicious little man and that's very unusual. The only thing that does not surprise me about this creature is his 'finding religion'. In a funny sort of way I think that adds up, it goes with his self centered nature. No let him go, he isn't worth the paper his biography is printed on.

13 23 Reply
Becky Shortt 18 April 2009

I noticed that 'Two Loves', the poem used as evidence in Oscar Wilde's trial isn't on here. Could anybody add it? I'm not sure how the system works when it comes to adding poems by famous poets.

10 4 Reply

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