I bought a book in a local charity shop last week that was published in 1908, called ‘Poems’ by Mary E. Coleridge. I have since discovered that Mary was the great grandniece of the famous poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and she published her poetry either anonymously or under a pseudonym. It was only after her (premature) death that she was finally credited with some wonderful verses.
This is the first poem in the book, and is entitled ‘To Memory.’
“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
Than live – as I now live – to be
Slain twenty times a day by thee.
Yet, when I would command thee hence,
Thou mockest at the vain pretence,
Murmuring in mine ear a song
Once loved, alas! forgotten long;
And on my brow I feel a kiss
That I would rather die than miss.”