The Forsaken Wife by Elizabeth Thomas ‘Corinna’

The Forsaken Wife by Elizabeth Thomas ‘Corinna’

The poem ‘The Forsaken Wife,’ by Elizabeth Thomas ‘Corinna’ depicts a wife’s dominance over her husband who abandoned her because of his infidelity.

The poem is about a thoughtless husband who abandons the speaker. He didn’t even speak a pleasant word as they parted. As a result, the lyrical character who has stayed committed to her duty feels obligated to refer to him as a “cruel man.” He has abandoned a person who is still genuine at heart despite his departure due to his adultery. The speaker declares clearly that she will never change. Such one-sided love, she knows, will cause her great anguish. But the agony makes her stronger since no other guy would willingly suffer what the persona happily does. Finally, the persona asserts that she is superior to him in magnificence rather than graciousness! Below, you’ll find the full poem.

Methinks, ’tis strange you can’t afford

One pitying look, one parting word;

Humanity claims this as due,

But what’s humanity to you?


Cruel man! I am not blind,

Your infidelity I find;

Your want of love my ruin shows,

My broken heart, your broken vows.

Yet maugre all your rigid hate,

I will be true in spite of fate;

And one preeminence I’ll claim,

To be for ever still the same.


Show me a man that dare be true,

That dares to suffer what I do;

That can for ever sigh unheard,

And ever love without regard:

I then will own your prior claim

To love, to honour, and to fame;

But till that time, my dear, adieu,

I yet superior am to you.

Elizabeth Thomas ‘Corinna’

Thanks for reading!


If you’re studying ‘The Forsaken Wife’, you can buy our detailed study guide here

This includes:

  • Vocabulary
  • Story + Summary
  • Speaker + Voice
  • Language Feature Analysis
  • Form and Structure Analysis
  • Context
  • Attitudes + Messages
  • Themes + Deeper Ideas
  • Key Quotations
  • Extra tasks to complete by yourself

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2022-11-25T17:17:38+00:00July 16th, 2022|English Literature, Poetry|0 Comments
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