The Ballad of Reading Gaol

Front Cover
Brentano's, 1906 - Imprisonment - 78 pages
0 Reviews

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages


Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 1 - I never saw sad men who looked So wistfully at the day. I never saw sad men who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue We prisoners call the sky, And at every careless cloud that passed In happy freedom by.
Page 25 - And all the woe that moved him so That he gave that bitter cry, And the wild regrets, and the bloody sweats, None knew so well as I: For he who lives more lives than one / /,-• More deaths than one must die.
Page 10 - It is sweet to dance to violins When Love and Life are fair: To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes Is delicate and rare; But it is not sweet with nimble feet To dance upon the air!
Page 27 - But there were those amongst us all Who walked with downcast head, And knew that, had each got his due, They should have died instead : He had but killed a thing that lived, Whilst they had killed the dead. For he who sins a second time Wakes a dead soul to pain, And draws it from its spotted shroud, And makes it bleed again, And makes it bleed great gouts of blood, And makes it bleed in vain ! Like ape or clown, in monstrous garb With crooked arrows starred, Silently we went round and round The...
Page 37 - Each narrow cell in which we dwell Is a foul and dark latrine, And the fetid breath of living death Chokes up each grated screen, And all, but Lust, is turned to dust In Humanity's machine.
Page 8 - He did not wring his hands nor weep, Nor did he peek or pine, But he drank the air as though it held Some healthful anodyne; With open mouth he drank the sun As though it had been wine!
Page 36 - The vilest deeds like poison weeds Bloom well in prison-air: It is only what is good in Man That wastes and withers there: Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate, And the Warder is Despair.
Page 42 - Yet each man kills the thing he loves, By each 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!
Page 31 - Out of his mouth a red, red rose ! • Out of his heart a white ! For who can say by what strange way, Christ brings his will to light, Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore Bloomed in the great Pope's sight...
Page 34 - By his dishonoured grave: Nor mark it with that blessed Cross That Christ for sinners gave, Because the man was one of those Whom Christ came down to save.

Bibliographic information