The Fall of Oscar Wilde
Low hanging fruit, a family feud,
a misspelled note, a libel suit,
mock indignation and ire,
to please your lover liar,
a bullet made for you to fire.
Sling enough mud they say....
Sling enough mud, it sticks,
exactly what the Marquis did!
Like you he paid the boys in gifts
for services rendered, to lift the lid
off your desires – and so
the gun backfires again.
O the irony of it!
Haughty speech and florid prose,
he took the stand to maintain,
some aesthetic pedagogic pose,
became so voluble on
the love that dare not speak,
claimed to mentor and to teach.
Though I think it was less Latin,
something more like Greek.
It amounted to a guilty plea.
And working class boys
pretty and expendable,
off the Piccadilly meat-rack
could go to the highest bidder and aren't
yet loyal or dependable when a better
offer's on the table, or perhaps
a worse threat.
Each man kills the thing he loves.
Outcasts always mourn. From
Pentonville, Reading & Gaulic exile,
poured overwrought remorse.
Talk of true nobility in suffering -
The Soul of Man Under Socialism,
De Profundis, repudiate and deny
a view you once endorsed,
that art was beautiful lies.
Cursing penury and fuelled
by whiskey absinthe and gin,
dying in the hotel d'Alsace
under another name,
It was shooting yourself
in the foot that ultimately did you in.
Well, that and the wallpaper,
so it's claimed.