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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde

In literature, George Gordon, Lord Byron is often referred to as "mad, bad and dangerous to know." He was churlish and ill-mannered but brilliant. Sadly, another brilliant British author, Oscar Wilde, was also categorized as dangerous. He fell in love and was later convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years of hard labor because his love was a man.

The lines below are from a poem he wrote after he was released from prison, having lost his wife, his children and ultimately his creative genius. His life dwindled to one of wandering, mooching and living in cheap hotels.

Though he may have lost his ability to be witty, satirical and clever, obviously the time in prison and the disgrace of it all did not steal his spirituality or his wisdom...

"How else but through a broken heart/May Lord Christ enter in?"

The "peace of pardon" is that peace that passes all understanding.

I could use many words to describe Oscar Wilde, but dangerous would never be one of them.

Only the wise understand the value of a broken heart.

Oscar Wilde

From “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”

And thus we rust Life’s iron chain Degraded and alone: And some men curse, and some men weep, And some men make no moan: But God’s eternal Laws are kind And break the heart of stone.

And every human heart that breaks, In prison-cell or yard, Is as that broken box that gave Its treasure to the Lord, And filled the unclean leper’s house With scent of costliest nard.

Ah! happy those whose hearts can break And peace of pardon win! How else may man make straight his plan And cleanse his soul from sin? How else but through a broken heart May Lord Christ enter in?

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