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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Hartley Coleridge (1796–1849)

“If I Have Sinned”

IF I have sinned in act, I may repent;

If I have erred in thought, I may disclaim

My silent error, and yet feel no shame:

But if my soul, big with an ill intent,

Guilty in will, by fate be innocent,

Or being bad, yet murmurs at the curse

And incapacity of being worse,

That makes my hungry passion still keep Lent

In keen expectance of a Carnival,—

Where in all worlds that round the sun revolve,

And shed their influence on this passive ball.

Lives there a power that can my soul absolve?

Could any sin survive, and be forgiven,

One sinful wish would make a hell of heaven.