One hardly knew at times whether one was reading the spiritual ecstasies of some mediaeval saint or the morbid confessions of a modern sinner. It was a poisonous book. The heavy odour of incense seemed to cling about its pages and trouble the brain. The mere cadence of the sentences, the subtle monotony of their music, so full as it was of complex refrains and movements elaborately repeated, produced in the mind of the lad, as he passed from chapter to chapter, a form of reverie, a malady of dreaming, that made him unconscious of the falling day and the creeping shadows.

– Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Chapter 10. Dorian is greatly taken with a novel about a young Parisian man who indulges himself in all kinds of passions. The lines between virtue and sin are blurred in the poisonous yellow book, which was given to him as a gift by Lord Henry. Wilde uses metaphorical language to compare the book to a drug and to highlight the influence it and Lord Henry have on the young man. The quote continues with the use of musical metaphor, suggesting that the book is having its desired effect of corrupting Dorian.