A HANDWRITTEN poem by Oscar Wilde has sold for over four times its estimate at auction – fetching €1,985 per line or €220 per word.
The poem, 'Heart's Yearnings', one of the earliest written by Wilde, sold for €79,430 – against an estimate of €17,700.
It was written in 1873 and has become one of the most valuable poems ever written by an Irishman, according to Bonhams in London, who said it was sold to someone living in the UK.
The poem begins: "Surely to me the world is all too drear/ To shape my sorrow to a tuneful strain/ It is enough for wearied ears to hear/ The Passion – Music of a fevered brain..."
Another Wilde poem, 'Les Ballons', written in the early 1880s, reached its upper pre-sale estimate by going under the hammer for €19,200.