Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

(23 September 1861 – 25 August 1907)

An Insincere Wish Addressed to a Beggar


We are not near enough to love,
I can but pity all your woe;
For wealth has lifted me above,
And falsehood set you down below.

If you were true, we still might be
Brothers in something more than name;
And were I poor, your love to me
Would make our differing bonds the same.

But golden gates between us stretch,
Truth opens her forbidding eyes;
You can't forget that I am rich,
Nor I that you are telling lies.

Love never comes but at love's call,
And pity asks for him in vain;
Because I cannot give you all,
You give me nothing back again.

And you are right with all your wrong,
For less than all is nothing too;
May Heaven beggar me ere long,
And Truth reveal herself to you!

Submitted: Thursday, April 01, 2010

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