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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

The Butterfly

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)

THE BUTTERFLY the ancient Grecians made

The soul’s fair emblem, and its only name—

But of the soul, escaped the slavish trade

Of earthly life!—For in this mortal frame

Ours is the reptile’s lot, much toil, much blame,

Manifold motions making little speed,

And to deform and kill the things whereon we feed.