Oscar Wilde

(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

Rome Unvisited

Poem by Oscar Wilde

THE corn has turned from grey to red,
Since first my spirit wandered forth
From the drear cities of the north,
And to Italia's mountains fled.

And here I set my face towards home,
For all my pilgrimage is done,
Although, methinks, yon blood-red sun
Marshals the way to Holy Rome.

O Blessed Lady, who dost hold
Upon the seven hills thy reign!
O Mother without blot or stain,
Crowned with bright crowns of triple gold!

O Roma, Roma, at thy feet
I lay this barren gift of song!
For, ah! the way is steep and long
That leads unto thy sacred street.


And yet what joy it were for me
To turn my feet unto the south,
And journeying towards the Tiber mouth
To kneel again at Fiesole!

And wandering through the tangled pines
That break the gold of Arno's stream,
To see the purple mist and gleam
Of morning on the Apennines.

By many a vineyard-hidden home,
Orchard, and olive-garden grey,
Till from the drear Campagna's way
The seven hills bear up the dome!


A pilgrim from the northern seas--
What joy for me to seek alone
The wondrous Temple, and the throne
Of Him who holds the awful keys!

When, bright with purple and with gold,
Come priest and holy Cardinal,
And borne above the heads of all
The gentle Shepherd of the Fold.

O joy to see before I die
The only God-anointed King,
And hear the silver trumpets ring
A triumph as He passes by!

Or at the altar of the shrine
Holds high the mystic sacrifice,
And shows a God to human eyes
Beneath the veil of bread and wine.


For lo, what changes time can bring!
The cycles of revolving years
May free my heart from all its fears,--
And teach my lips a song to sing.

Before yon field of trembling gold
Is garnered into dusty sheaves,
Or ere the autumn's scarlet leaves
Flutter as birds adown the wold,

I may have run the glorious race,
And caught the torch while yet aflame,
And called upon the holy name
Of Him who now doth hide His face.

Comments about Rome Unvisited by Oscar Wilde

  • Subhas Chandra ChakraSubhas Chandra Chakra (9/1/2016 11:38:00 PM)

    A great poem with beautiful imagery and high poetic skill.(Report)Reply

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  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (9/1/2016 4:34:00 PM)

    My. Word. This is a gorgeous poem. Stunning, stirring imagery. Contagious spill of emotions. I'm almost wordless.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
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  • Mizzy ........Mizzy ........ (9/1/2016 12:13:00 PM)

    Tremendous poem written with great literary skill.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (9/1/2016 10:28:00 AM)

    Lo what changes time can bring!
    The cycle of revolving years
    A great pilgrimage song inked with fantastic imagery and devotion. Thanks for sharing it here.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Stephen LoomesStephen Loomes (9/1/2016 7:15:00 AM)

    Nice one Oscar-you didn't have to wait the season's change for your lips, long gone, to sing your glorious song(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (9/1/2016 1:36:00 AM)

    Blood-red sun! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: purple, joy, song, autumn, red, home, silver, mother, god, alone, sun, journey, change, city, fear, running

Poem Submitted: Friday, May 18, 2001

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