The Escape of Oscar Wilde

The Escape of Oscar Wilde
—for Sir John Benjeman

He slipped out the backdoor quietly
Escaping all the London lies
Through the Nottingham dark back-alleys
With his glazed Yellow Book eyes

Robbie and Oscar sped quickly
Down Pont Street like a pair of thieves
Little did jolly England know the
Importance of Oscar’s Pet Peeves

They hustled him onboard the yacht
Procured by his dear friend Harris
Leaving behind all the rude cretins
Led by Bosie’s father to embarrass

“Fetch my astrakham coat,” he said
“And my Morocco portmanteau
There in my rooms at the Savoy—
May the winds in the sails blow!!!”

With a swish and a sigh of relief
Wilde made it safely to gay Paris
Where he became Poet-in-Exile
With witty plays that still dare us

Bosie joined him on the Left Bank
Publishing a radically new Yellow Book
Illustrated by Miss Beardsley nicely
Giving the gay movement a new look

From then on the Victorian closet
Fell apart rather grandly my dear
And what’s known as Post-Stonewall
Became Windermere’s Fan so queer!!!

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