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A DREAM OF JOHN BALL

CHAPTER I

THE MEN OF KENT

Sometimes I am rewarded for fretting myself so much about present

matters by a quite unasked-for pleasant dream. I mean when I am

asleep. This dream is as it were a present of an architectural

peep-show. I see some beautiful and noble building new made, as

it were for the occasion, as clearly as if I were awake; not

vaguely or absurdly, as often happens in dreams, but with all the

detail clear and reasonable. Some Elizabethan house with its

scrap of earlier fourteenth-century building, and its later

degradations of Queen Anne and Silly Billy and Victoria,

marring but not destroying it, in an old village once a clearing

amid the sandy woodlands of Sussex. Or an old and unusually

curious church, much churchwardened, and beside it a fragment of

fifteenth-century domestic architecture amongst the not

unpicturesque lath and plaster of an Essex farm, and looking

natural enough among the sleepy elms and the meditative hens

scratching about in the litter of the farmyard, whose trodden

yellow straw comes up to the very jambs of the richly carved

Norman doorway of the church. Or sometimes 'tis a splendid

collegiate church, untouched by restoring parson and architect,

standing amid an island of shapely trees and flower-beset

cottages of thatched grey stone and cob, amidst the narrow

stretch of bright green water-meadows that wind between the

sweeping Wiltshire downs, so well beloved of William Cobbett. Or

some new-seen and yet familiar cluster of houses in a grey

village of the upper Thames overtopped by the delicate tracery

of a fourteenth-century church; or even sometimes the very

buildings of the past untouched by the degradation of the sordid

utilitarianism that cares not and knows not of beauty and

history: as once, when I was journeying (in a dream of the night)

down the well-remembered reaches of the Thames betwixt Streatley

and Wallingford, where the foothills of the White Horse fall back

from the broad stream, I came upon a clear-seen mediaeval town

standing up with roof and tower and spire within its walls, grey

and ancient, but untouched from the days of its builders of old.

All this I have seen in the dreams of the night clearer than I

can force myself to see them in dreams of the day. So that it

would have been nothing new to me the other night to fall into an

architectural dream if that were all, and yet I have to tell of

things strange and new that befell me after I had fallen asleep.

I had begun my sojourn in the Land of Nod by a very confused

attempt to conclude that it was all right for me to have an

engagement to lecture at Manchester and Mitcham Fair Green at

half-past eleven at night on one and the same Sunday, and that I

could manage pretty well. And then I had gone on to try to make

the best of addressing a large open-air audience in the costume I

was really then wearing--to wit, my night-shirt, reinforced for

the dream occasion by a pair of braceless trousers. The

consciousness of this fact so bothered me, that the earnest faces

of my audience--who would NOT notice it, but were clearly

preparing terrible anti-Socialist posers for me--began to fade

away and my dream grew thin, and I awoke (as I thought) to find

myself lying on a strip of wayside waste by an oak copse just

outside a country village.

 This ebook contains all the Poems by Oscar Wilde with original material :


CONTENTS

NOTE

RAVENNA (1877)

POEMS (1876-1881)

ELEUTHERIA

SONNET TO LIBERTY

AVE IMPERATRIX

TO MILTON

LOUIS NAPOLEON

SONNET : ON THE MASSACRE OF THE CHRISTIANS IN BULGARIA

QUANTUM MUTATA

LIBERTATIS SACRA FAMES

THEORETIKOS

THE GARDEN OF EROS

ROSA MYSTICA

REQUIESCAT

SONNET ON APPROACHING ITALY

SAN MINIATO

AVE MARIA GRATIA PLENA

ITALIA

SONNET : WRITTEN IN HOLY WEEK AT GENOA 

ROME UNVISITED

URBS SACRA ÆTERNA

SONNET

EASTER DAY

E TENEBRIS

VITA NUOVA

MADONNA MIA

THE NEW HELEN

THE BURDEN OF ITYS

WIND FLOWERS

IMPRESSION DU MATIN

MAGDALEN WALKS

ATHANASIA

SERENADE

ENDYMION

LA BELLA DONNA DELLA MIA MENTE

CHANSON

CHARMIDES

FLOWERS OF GOLD

IMPRESSIONS

THE GRAVE OF KEATS

THEOCRITUS

IN THE GOLD ROOM

BALLADE DE MARGUERITE

THE DOLE OF THE KING’S DAUGHTER

AMOR INTELLECTUALIS

SANTA DECCA

A VISION

IMPRESSION DE VOYAGE

THE GRAVE OF SHELLEY

BY THE ARNO

IMPRESSIONS DE THÉÂTRE

FABIEN DEI FRANCHI

PHÈDRE

WRITTEN AT THE LYCEUM THEATRE

PANTHEA

THE FOURTH MOVEMENT

IMPRESSION

AT VERONA

APOLOGIA

QUIA MULTUM AMAVI

SILENTIUM AMORIS

HER VOICE

MY VOICE

TÆDIUM VITÆ

HUMANITAD

FLOWER OF LOVE

ΓΛΥΚΥΠΙΚΡΟΣ ΕΡΩΣ

UNCOLLECTED POEMS (1876-1893)

FROM SPRING DAYS TO WINTER 

TRISTITÆ 

THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE

LOTUS LEAVES

WASTED DAYS

IMPRESSIONS

I LE JARDIN

II LA MER

UNDER THE BALCONY

ROSES AND RUE (1884)

THE HARLOT’S HOUSE

LE JARDIN DES TUILERIES

ON THE SALE BY AUCTION OF KEATS’ LOVE LETTERS

THE NEW REMORSE

FANTAISIES DÉCORATIVES

I LE PANNEAU

II LES BALLONS

WITH A COPY OF ‘A HOUSE OF POMEGRANATES’ (1888)

SYMPHONY IN YELLOW

CANZONET

IN THE FOREST

TO MY WIFE (1893)

DÉSESPOIR

PAN

ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT OF AN UNPUBLISHED POEM.

FAC-SIMILE OF AN UNPUBLISHED POEM

TRANSLATIONS (1875-80)

CHORUS OF CLOUD MAIDENS

ΘPHNΩIΔIA

A FRAGMENT FROM THE AGAMEMNON OF JESCHYLOS

SEN ARTYSTY; OR, THE ARTIST’S DREAM

THE SPHINX (1883)

THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL (1897)


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