Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

(23 September 1861 – 25 August 1907)

Affection - Poem by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

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.
I am as far below as heaven above thee.
Were I thine angel, more I could not love thee.

Bid me defend thee!
Thy danger over-human strength shall lend me,
A hand of iron and a heart of steel,
To strike, to wound, to slay, and not to feel.
But if you chide me,
I am a weak, defenceless child beside thee.


Comments about Affection by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

  • Terry Craddock Terry Craddock (5/6/2015 11:49:00 PM)

    Such a fierce adorable declaration of 'affection' nay love in the second stanza, following the vast distance which separates her apparent social level from his and the declaration she could not love him more if she were an angel. Such strength declared in defence of his person, such fear of being spoken to and treated like a child in his eyes. Gifted power of expression 10+++ (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • * Sunprincess * (3/29/2014 10:08:00 PM)

    .........a beautiful write...enjoyed... (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh Rai Ramesh Rai (3/29/2014 9:36:00 PM)

    But if you chide me,
    I am a weak, defenceless child (Report) Reply

  • Sixtus Osim Sixtus Osim (3/29/2014 3:27:00 PM)

    Whao! Was she beautiful or not? Such strong comparisons between her and the beauty of earth.
    Just as she is so impressed by the beauty of the earth so it is that most people had wonder. Quite a scenic piece of poesy. (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (3/29/2014 1:37:00 PM)

    Wonderful poem. I think I went to somewhat similar emotions writing a poem called ' My family'. Written little differently. (Report) Reply

  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (3/29/2014 12:57:00 AM)

    A beautiful poem with love, affection like good feeling. The world is so beautiful and it is the perfect creator of good flowers, greenish enviornment, trees and bushes, the rivers, oceans, mighty mountains and also the human being. The poem is very enjoyable for reading and repeating. (Report) Reply

  • Hans Vr Hans Vr (3/29/2013 7:21:00 AM)

    Great affection and humility (Report) Reply

  • Anthony Foster (3/29/2012 1:29:00 PM)

    Loves balance she has said it all,
    and back again a circle of eternity,
    About the strengths and weakness of overwhelming love for someone. (Report) Reply

  • Carlos Echeverria (3/29/2012 10:56:00 AM)

    Fabulous rhythm...such a pleasure to read with power-packed, honest feeling. (Report) Reply

  • Christopher Cruz (3/29/2012 7:42:00 AM)

    great poem i was touched when reading it (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw Kevin Straw (3/29/2010 8:07:00 AM)

    The psychological insight that affection can turn to “a hand of iron” - that love can become tyrannous is true. I could do without the metaphysics of the first verse, and have the second verse start “Affection, bid me defend thee! ” Sometimes, a poem has a kind of 'sighting' at the beginning before it truly begins. (Report) Reply

  • Adnan Khalifeh (3/29/2010 7:39:00 AM)

    Nice poem.
    Dear friends,
    I have read your comments regarding this poem.
    I like to read your comments on my poem too (I give-up) .
    Best Regards,
    Adnan. (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Poewhit (3/29/2010 4:58:00 AM)

    Really captures the heights and depths of the spirit. (Report) Reply

  • Qhalis Kaiyisha (3/29/2010 2:57:00 AM)

    What a beautiful poem about strength and weakness (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A Ramesh T A (3/29/2010 2:10:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem telling about the strength and weakness of a loving soul is interesting to read! (Report) Reply

  • Susan Witman (3/29/2009 9:59:00 PM)

    It's beautiful.... You write well. For the rose could be a person or a plant depending on your interpretation. (Report) Reply

  • Bria F (3/29/2009 9:49:00 PM)

    That was a great poem. this poem is like me and how i feel. makes me want to cry (Report) Reply

  • Blue angel Florida (3/29/2008 8:18:00 PM)

    Bravo! Romantic, Poetic, genuine! (Report) Reply

  • Jenn Romero (3/29/2007 6:07:00 PM)

    It's beautiful, Mary had a way with words
    xoxo (Report) Reply

  • Alex Murphy (3/29/2007 5:11:00 PM)

    Very Nice. love the imagery! (Report) Reply

Read all 22 comments »




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Read poems about / on: angel, strength, rose, child, mother, heaven, heart, children, wind



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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