Dorian Gray Revisited
A green unripe time—a time of shallow moods
And sickly thoughts—why so young for so long?
Youth had spoiled him—his life stained obscenely
With beauty that wasn’t his—only a face-lift?
His youth but a mockery—was it worth it?
It was his beauty—that had ruined him
His beauty and the youth—that he had prayed for
“The curves of your lips—rewrite history"
Such phrases came back—to him again & again
He repeated them over—and over to himself
Then he began loathing them—his own beauty
Frozen like a male Medusa—in a polished shield
Once some one who—had terribly loved him
Wrote to him a mad letter—ending with these
Idolatrous words—"The world is changed
Because you are—made of ivory and gold”
He remembered—that night of horror when
He first stared—at the unfathomable change
In the fatal picture—the wild, ogling eyes
Looking back at him—as he really was
The curiously carved mirror—of Lord Henry
Standing on the table—white-limbed Cupids
Laughing at him—demonically not angelically
He flung the mirror—smashing it on the floor
Crushing it into silver splinters—beneath his heel
But something in the attic—was waiting for him
Daily suicide—had been his own act
He had chosen to do it—it meant nothing to him
To him it was unbearable—to even think about it
And yet he had borne—the curse with patience
Basil had painted—the portrait that marred his life
He could not forgive him that—a portrait of death
His murder had been only—momentary madness
Basil Hallward—had simply got in the way
Basil had said things—simply ruined everything
Nor indeed did his death—weigh on his mind
It was the living death—of his own soul
That’s what troubled him—forcing him to know
The excitement—such as it was over
Basil’s disappearance—would soon pass
It was already waning—perfectly safe
James Vane was hidden—in a nameless grave
There in Selby churchyard—Alan Campbell
Had shot himself—one night in his laboratory
Nothing revealed the secrets—of the past
Nothing could alter that—or himself
And there was—his own future
To think about—the eternal present
Dragging the purple hanging—from the portrait
Crying out in pain & indignation—seeing himself
Seeing no change—except in the eyes
There was a look of cunning—and cruelty
And in the mouth—the curved wrinkle
The smirk of a hypocrite—a snarky queen
The thing was loathsome—even more so
It seemed brighter—more newly-spilled blood
Dorian trembled—it wasn’t merely vanity
What had made him—do this horrible deed?
A desire for a new sensation—how naïve
Lord Henry hinting—with his mocking laugh?
Or was it passion—to act too suddenly
He went out quietly—locking the door behind him
And why the red stain—getting larger than before?
Creeping like a horrible disease—over the hands?
Those wrinkled fingers—they surely weren’t his
And the blood on—the painted feet as though…
As though blood had dripped—from a knife
What could be more loathsome—than that?
A scarlet smear—splattering the feet of death?
He laughed—thinking the idea monstrous
Besides even if he’d confess—who’d believe him?
There wasn’t any trace—of murdered men anywhere
Everything belonging to them—destroyed
He’d burned—everything beneath the stairs
The world makes us—do weird things
What could be weirder—than ourselves?
Or, perhaps—if he persisted in some story
Yet it wasn’t his duty to confess—to suffer
Public shame—needed public atonement
There were sins on earth—as well as heaven
Nothing he could do—would cleanse it
So why confess—on somebody’s shoulders?
The death of Basil Hallward—meant little to him
Was this unjust portrait—the mirror of his soul?
Was that what Dorian—was looking at?
His own Vanity? His own Curiosity? Hypocrisy?
Was there nothing more—than renunciation?
They would simply say—he was totally mad
They would shut him up—if he said anything
At least he thought so—but who’d listen to him?
There was nothing more—he could really do
Except wear the mask—of eternal damnation
Vanity wouldn’t spare him—nor hypocrisy
He’d worn the mask—of his own sins too long
Out of curiosity he—thought of trying denial
Only to recognize—it was much too late
He was the portrait—the portrait was him
The sinning had just begun—he shrugged
He would kill this—monstrous soul-life
And without its hideous warnings—he’d be free
He seized the knife—and stabbed the picture
Again & again—it was bright and glistened
As it had killed the painter—so he’d kill the painting
He’d kill the painter's work—and what it meant
He would kill the past—and when it was dead
He’d be free again—before conscience got to him
Yes, it had been conscience—he’d destroy it
He looked around—and stabbed it some more
Like he stabbed Basil Hallward—killing him coldly
He’d cleaned up afterwards—leaving no stain
Even when he’d been away—though a terror
Filled him lest other eyes—should look upon it
The Portrait of Dorian Gray—told no Lies
It had a melancholy life—a story all its own
Full of passions—marring mere memory
So that there were no more—moments of joy
It itself—became its own murderous evidence
He would destroy it—why had he kept it so long?
Once it had given him pleasure—to watch it age
Changing and growing older—rather than him
Now there was no such pleasure—only doom
It had kept him—goodlooking and charming
But how many murders—would it take to keep
His secret from prying eyes—that he’d never die?
Was it to haunt him—all his long drawn-out life?
Was he always to be—burdened by his past?
Was he really to confess—hardly my dear
Never would he admit—the shameless truth
There was only one piece—of evidence left
The portrait was against him—it revealed too much
A new Portrait—a new picture and a new life!
That’s what he wanted—that’s what he waited for
Surely he’d begun it already—except for one thing
The constant reminder in the attic—his evil Double
Dorian could spare nothing—not one past thing
Nothing to tempt his new innocence—again
He stabbed the Portrait—again and again
It screamed bloody murder—or was it him?
It was a dead man—in evening dress
With a knife in his heart—completely withered
All wrinkled—the most loathsome thing
Not until they’d examined—the diamond rings
Did they recognize—who it actually was
The balcony was locked—the windows bolted
The bolts were old—the windows rotting
When they entered—the smell was simply putrid
They found hanging there—on the attic wall
A splendid portrait—of Dorian Gray their master
The servants thought—surely the dead body
On the floor was some intruder—who died up there
The Portrait—was as they had last seen Dorian
In all the wonder of his—exquisite youth and beauty
Lying on the floor now—who was this stranger
They got the coachman—and one of the footmen
They searched the house—but he wasn’t there
They knocked on doors—looked in all the closets
But there was no reply—no Dorian anywhere
They called out—everything was deadly still
Finally the awful truth—was finally revealed
It was young handsome—Dorian Gray, oh dear!!!
Inside in the servants'—part of the house
The half-clad domestics—gossiped in low whispers
Old Mrs. Leaf was crying—wringing her hands
Francis was as pale as death—hearing the bad news
"Whose house is this?” asked the Constable
"Mr. Dorian Gray's, sir," answered the butler
They looked at each other—soon others talked
Some were silent—sneering in that knowing way
That night—the house had been all dark inside
Except for a light—in one of the attic windows
After a time—there was a horrible cry
So horrible in its agony—frightening the rats
They woke up—and crept out of their rooms
The house was deadly silent—Dorian was dead
Two gentlemen—passing in the square below
Stopped and looked up—at the great house