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 have wandered over the fruitful earth,
But I never came here before.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

The cutting wind is a cruel foe.
I dare not stand in the blast.
My hands are stone, and my voice a groan,
And the worst of death is past.
I am but a little maiden still,
My little white feet are sore.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

Her voice was the voice that women have,
Who plead for their heart's desire.
She came—she came—and the quivering flame
Sunk and died in the fire.
It never was lit again on my hearth
Since I hurried across the floor,
To lift her over the threshold, and let her in at the door.

More by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

"My True Love Hath My Heart and I Have His"

None ever was in love with me but grief.
   She wooed my from the day that I was born;
She stole my playthings first, the jealous thief,
   And left me there forlorn.

The birds that in my garden would have sung,
   She scared away with her unending moan;
She slew my lovers too when I was young,
   And left me there alone.

Grief, I have cursed thee often—now at last
   To hate thy name I am no longer free;
Caught in thy bony arms and prisoned fast,
   I love no love but thee.

A Moment

The clouds had made a crimson crown 
  About the mountains high. 
The stormy sun was going down 
  In a stormy sky. 
 
Why did you let your eyes so rest on me, 
  And hold your breath between? 
In all the ages this can never be 
  As if it had not been. 
 

Related Poems

The Witch Has Told You a Story

You are food.
You are here for me
to eat. Fatten up,
and I will like you better.

Your brother will be first,
you must wait your turn.
Feed him yourself, you will
learn to do it. You will take him

eggs with yellow sauce, muffins
torn apart and leaking butter, fried meats
late in the morning, and always sweets
in a sticky parade from the kitchen.

His vigilance, an ice pick of hunger
pricking his insides, will melt
in the unctuous cream fillings.
He will forget. He will thank you

for it. His little finger stuck every day
through cracks in the bars
will grow sleek and round,
his hollow face swell

like the moon. He will stop dreaming
about fear in the woods without food.
He will lean toward the maw
of the oven as it opens

every afternoon, sighing
better and better smells.