Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
VI. A Premature Old Bachelor, He Congratulates a Bridegroom
By Hartley Coleridge (1796–1849)
HOW shall a man foredoomed to lone estate,
  Untimely old, irreverendly gray,
  Much like a patch of dusky snow in May,
  Dead sleeping in a hollow, all too late,—
How shall so poor a thing congratulate        5
  The best completion of a patient wooing,
  Or how commend a younger man for doing
  What ne’er to do hath been his fault, or fate?
There is a fable, that I once did read,
  Of a bad angel that was someway good,        10
  And therefore on the brink of Heaven he stood,
Looking each way, and no way could proceed;
  Till at the last he purged away his sin,
  By loving all the joy he saw within.

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