Mary Elizabeth Coleridge (1861-1907)
An Insincere Wish Addressed to a Beggar
1We are not near enough to love,
2 I can but pity all your woe;
3For wealth has lifted me above,
4 And falsehood set you down below.
5If you were true, we still might be
6 Brothers in something more than name;
7And were I poor, your love to me
8 Would make our differing bonds the same.
9But golden gates between us stretch,
10 Truth opens her forbidding eyes;
11You can't forget that I am rich,
12 Nor I that you are telling lies.
13Love never comes but at love's call,
14 And pity asks for him in vain;
15Because I cannot give you all,
16 You give me nothing back again.
17And you are right with all your wrong,
18 For less than all is nothing too;
19May Heaven beggar me ere long,
20 And Truth reveal herself to you!
Online text copyright © 2005, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Mary E. Coleridge, Poems (London: Elkin Mathews, 1918). PR 6005 O3P6 1918 Robarts Library
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2005
Recent editing: 1:2005/3/11
Other poems by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge