Sunday, February 25, 2018

TRANSITION, a poem

AWAKE my soul!
     Thou shalt not creep and crawl—
     An earth-bound creature, pitiful and small,
Whose weak ambition knows no higher goal!
O wistful soul,

When morning sings,
     Forgetful of the night,
     Bathe all thy restless being in the light;
Till 'neath the mesh that close about thee clings
Thou feel thy wings!

Then find life's door,—
     Trusting the instinct true
     That points to Heaven and the aerial blue,
A wingèd thing impelled forevermore
To soar and soar!
"Transition" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's Monthly Magazine (February 1902), Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

SECURE, a poem

OUR single lives are circled round
     By an embracing sea;
Are joined to all that has been, bound
     To all that is to be;
The past and future meet and cross,
And in life's ocean is no loss.

We know there is no loss—and yet—
     Dismayed, perplexed,—poor dupes of time—
     We see youth stricken ere its prime,
And in our grief forget.
But pitying Nature takes our part:
Slowly she heals the breaking heart,

And Sorrow's self procures us gain;
     For in her steps ascending higher,
We come, at last, where waits nor pain
     Nor unfulfilled desire,—
Finding the path lit from above
That leads from love—to Love!

Nothing is premature with God:
     His are the harvest-time and sowing,
The seedling nestled in the sod,
     The flower in beauty blowing,
The languid ebb, the eager flow,
The pulse of spring, the brooding snow.
"Secure" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Independent (16 February 1911), The Unconquered Air (1912) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

SELF-CONFIDENT YOUTH, a poem

THE earth is mine and its myriad flowers,
     And the stars are mine: I shall count them all;
As I hasten on with expanding powers,
     No cloud-capped peak shall my strength appal.

I will measure my might 'gainst the might of Ocean,
     In ships of my building, its wastes will dare;
I will learn of the swallow its swift-winged motion,
     And ride as it rides, through the fields of Air! . . .

I marvel my fathers have been contented
     To live and to labor in ways time-worn:
That to Fate's denials they e'er consented,
     Solaced by trifles my soul would scorn!

For the tired old world I will write a story
     That none of her children has told before:
A tale of adventure and love, whose glory
     Shall glow in her annals forevermore.

To the depths, to the heights I am called to inherit,
     I will climb, will descend, without fear of fall,
In the perilous joy of a dauntless spirit
     That nothing shall have—if it have not All!
"Self-confident Youth" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine (January 1915) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

CONSCIENCE, a poem

THE friend I loved betrayed my trust
And bowed my spirit to the dust.
I keep the hurt he gave, yet know
He was forgiven long ago.

From him I did not merit ill,
But I would bear injustice still,
Content, could years of guiltless woe
Undo the wrong I did my foe.
"Conscience" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine (May 1894), Poems (1898) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

IN WINTER, a poem

IT will be long ere 'neath the sunlight dimpling,
     The mountain snows melt back to earth's still breast,
Ere swallows build, and wayward brooklets wimpling
     O'er pebbly beds, wind by the pewee's nest,
Ere swells the lily's cup, ere transport strong
Thrills in the bluebird's lay,—it will be long!

It will be long ere dews and fresh'ning showers
     Descend where latticed roses languid burn,
Ere, pale from exile, nodding wayside flowers
     And timid woodland darlings home return,
Ere vesper-sparrows chant their Delphian song,
And larks at sunrise sing,—it will be long!

But though fierce blow the winds through forests shrouded,
     Where snows, for leafy verdure, cheerless cling,
Though seas moan wild, and skies are darkly clouded,—
     Within the heart that loves 't is always spring!
There memories and hopes, fresh-budding, throng,
And faith forgets that Winter lingers long.
"In Winter" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Poems (1898) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

On this day in 1902

Mrs. Coates was among other women who attended "a series of six studies in current events ... at the house of Mrs. Mahlon N. Kline [Isadora Emilie Unger Kline], 266 West Tulpehocken street, Germantown.  Thursday afternoons in Lent at half after 3 o'clock, beginning February 20." [Philadelphia Inquirer 18 February 1902]

Monday, February 19, 2018

IN WINTER-TIME, a poem

HOW sweet it is 'neath apple-blooms to lie,
     And breathe their breath!
To peep through waving branches at the sky,
To feel the zephyrs as they idle by,
     And question of the brooklet what it saith!

How sweet it is to roam through the green wold
     When labors cease!
To hear the tranquil tale by Nature told—
The tale that was not young, and grows not old—
     To find within the heart an answering peace!

And though apart from Nature we maintain
     An alien quest,
How sweet that we shall leave the strife and strain
Some blessèd morn, and wander back again,
     And close our eyes, and in her bosom rest!
"In Winter-Time" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume II.