Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Sonnet: ‘True to myself am I, and false to all’
By Mary Elizabeth Coleridge (1861–1907)
       “To thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

TRUE to myself am I, and false to all.
Fear, sorrow, love, constrain us till we die.
But when the lips betray the spirit’s cry,
The will, that should be sovereign, is a thrall.
Therefore let terror slay me, ere I call        5
For aid of men. Let grief begrudge a sigh.
“Are you afraid?”—“unhappy?” “No!” The lie
About the shrinking truth stands like a wall.
“And have you loved?” “No, never.” All the while,
The heart within my flesh is turned to stone.        10
Yea, none the less that I account it vile,
The heart within my heart makes speechless moan,
And when they see one face, one face alone,
The stern eyes of the soul are moved to smile.

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