Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
Biography of Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
She was a British novelist and poet, who also wrote essays and reviews. She taught at the London Working Women's College for twelve years from 1895 to 1907. She wrote poetry under the pseudonym Anodos, taken from George MacDonald; other influences on her were Richard Watson Dixon and Christina Rossetti. Robert Bridges,the Poet Laureate,described her poems as 'wonderously beautiful..but mystical rather and enigmatic'
Coleridge published five novels, the best known of those being The King with Two Faces, which earned her £900 in royalties in 1897. She travelled widely throughout her life, although her home was in London, where she lived with her family. Her father was Arthur Duke Coleridge who, along with the singer Jenny Lind, was responsible for the formation of the London Bach Choir in 1875. Other family friends included Robert Browning, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, John Millais and Fanny Kemble.
Mary Coleridge was the great-grandniece of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the great niece of Sara Coleridge, the author of Phantasmion. She died from complications arising from appendicitis while on holiday in Harrogate in 1907, leaving an unfinished manuscript for her next novel, and hundreds of unpublished poems.
One of her poems, "The Blue Bird," was set to music by Charles Villiers Stanford. A family friend, the composer Hubert Parry, also set several of her poems to music.
Mary Elizabeth Coleridge's Works:
Fancy's Following. Oxford: Daniel, 1896 (poems)
The King with Two Faces. London: Edward Arnold, 1897
The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. London: Chatto & Windus, 1898
Non Sequitur. London: J. Nisbet, 1900 (essays)
The Fiery Dawn. London: Edward Arnold, 1901
The Shadow on the Wall: a romance. London: Edward Arnold, 1904
The Lady on the Drawingroom Floor. London: Edward Arnold, 1906kiren
Holman Hunt. London: T. C. & E. C. Jack; New York: F. A. Stokes Co.,  (three numbers of Masterpieces in Colour issued together: Millais / by A. L. Baldry - Holman Hunt / by M. E. Coleridge - Rossetti / by L. Pissarro.)
Poems by Mary E. Coleridge. London: Elkin Mathews, 1908
Songs not listed
the deserted house
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Mary Elizabeth Coleridge Poems
The earth that made the rose, She also is thy mother, and not I. The flame wherewith thy maiden spirit glows Was lighted at no hearth that I sit by.
Strange Power, I know not what thou art, Murderer or mistress of my heart. I know I'd rather meet the blow Of my most unrelenting foe
The Other Side of a Mirror
I sat before my glass one day, And conjured up a vision bare, Unlike the aspects glad and gay, That erst were found reflected there -
I HAVE walked a great while over the snow, And I am not tall nor strong. My clothes are wet, and my teeth are set, And the way was hard and long.
I ask of thee, love, nothing but relief
Blue and White
BLUE is Our Lady’s colour, White is Our Lord’s. To-morrow I will wear a knot Of blue and white cords,
|WE were young, we were merry, we were very very wise, And the door stood open at our feast, When there passed us a woman with the West in her eyes, And a man with his back to the East.
‘He came unto His own, and His own recei...
As Christ the Lord was passing by, He came, one night, to a cottage door. He came, a poor man, to the poor; He had no bed whereon to lie.
Many a flower have I seen blossom, Many a bird for me will sing. Never heard I so sweet a singer, Never saw I so fair a thing.
Good Friday in my Heart
GOOD FRIDAY in my heart! Fear and affright! My thoughts are the Disciples when they fled, My words the words that priest and soldier said, My deed the spear to desecrate the dead.
Death and the Lady
TURN in, my lord, she said ; As it were the Father of Sin I have hated the Father of the Dead, The slayer of my kin ;
MOTHER of God! no lady thou: Common woman of common earth Our Lady ladies call thee now, But Christ was never of gentle birth;
The Deserted House
There's no smoke in the chimney, And the rain beats on the floor; There's no glass in the window,
Grant me but a day, love, But a day, Ere I give my heart, My heart away,
O LET me be in loving nice,
Dainty, fine, and o’er precise,
That I may charm my charmàd dear
As tho’ I felt a secret fear
To lose what never can be lost,—
Her faith who still delights me most!
So shall I be more than true,
Ever in my ageing new.
So dull habit shall not be
Wrongly call’d Fidelity.