The power and poignancy of this came back to me after a seminar discussion in Friday's class on Wilde and, consulting my copy of Collected Works out fell photocopies of the Hart ed. - sent to me by the poet and teacher, Sean Hutton - letters between Ross and Wilde in 1900 then in Italy:
Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Something with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!