Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

(23 September 1861 – 25 August 1907)

Death And The Lady - Poem by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

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 ;
By the Father of the Living led,
Turn in, my lord, turn in.

We were foes of old ; thy touch was cold,
But mine is warm as life ;
I have struggled and made thee loose thy hold,
I have turned aside the knife.
Despair itself in me was bold,
I have striven, and won the strife.

But that which conquered thee and rose
Again to earth descends ;
For the last time we have come to blows.
And the long combat ends.
The worst and secretest of foes,
Be now my friend of friends.


Comments about Death And The Lady by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

  • Gold Star - 13,233 Points Terry Craddock (5/6/2015 11:29:00 PM)

    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;

    The old concept of sin is death, dead is sin, begins this poem lamenting first the death of kin, then celebrating a battle with death

    We were foes of old; thy touch was cold,
    But mine is warm as life;
    I have struggled and made thee loose thy hold,

    which begs the question of how she defeated death, 'turned aside the knife... bold, ... striven, and won the strife.' The third stanza lines seem to indicate that Christ who 'conquered thee (death) and rose
    Again to earth descends; ' has protected or consoled the woman addressing death, who is now at peace with death thus

    the long combat ends.
    The worst and secretest of foes,
    Be now my friend of friends.

    It would be interesting to know more background detail to this poem, which incorporates elements of mystery and intrigue. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Veteran Poet - 1,090 Points Panmelys Panmelys (5/6/2015 12:57:00 PM)

    enigmatic and personally it doesn't send shivers down my back, it seems the struggle with death which the poet
    feels she has conquered several times in her life.... I may be wrong...let's move on. Panmelys (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 30,138 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (3/29/2014 1:25:00 AM)

    'Be now my friends of friends' the poem concludes.The mystical enigmatic lines of poems are the peculiarity of poets which is beyond comprehension in particular but so much meanings which goes to the inner depth of mind and soul and therefore so much enjoying in a sorrow and pessimistic mental attire I think. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: father, despair, rose, friend, death, time, life, hate



Poem Submitted: Monday, May 14, 2001

Poem Edited: Monday, May 14, 2001


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