by Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

In Reading gaol by Reading town
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER
In Reading gaol by Reading town
  There is a pit of shame,
And in it lies a wretched man
  Eaten by teeth of flame,
In a burning winding-sheet he lies,
  And his grave has got no name.

And there, till Christ call forth the dead,
  In silence let him lie:
No need to waste the foolish tear,
  Or heave the windy sigh:
The man had killed the thing he loved,
  And so he had to die.

And all men kill the thing they love,
  By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Ballade vom Reading Gefängnis (VI - Schluß)", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2020-01-13 00:00:00
Last modified: 2020-01-13 20:25:56
Line count: 18
Word count: 115