Wednesday, March 21, 2018


MY store is spent; I am fain to borrow:
     Give me to drink of a vintage fine!
Pour me a draught—a draught of To-morrow,
     Brimming and fresh from a rock-cool shrine:
Nectar of earth,
For the longing and dearth
Of a heart still young,
That waiteth and waiteth a song unsung!

Glad be the strain!
In the cup pour no pain:
Leave at the brim not a taste of sorrow!
     Spring would I sing! For the bird flies free,
     The sap is astir in the oldest tree,
And the Maiden weaves,
Mid a laughter of leaves,
     The bud and the blossom of joys to be! . . .

Ay, Winter took all;
But I heard the Spring call,
And my heart, denied,
With a rapturous shiver—
Like that that makes eager the pulse of the river
     When something at last tells it Winter is past—
Awoke at the sound of her voice, and replied.
     A libation to Spring!—ah, quickly! pour fast!
She is there! She is here!—in the sky—on the sea—
In the Morning-Land waiting my heart and me!
"O Giorno Felice!" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's Monthly Magazine (July 1912), The Unconquered Air (1912) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


THE wild bird's first exultant strain
     Says,—"Winter is over—over!"
And spring returns to the world again,
     With breath as of lilac and clover.

With a certain soft, appealing grace
     (Surely some sorrow hath kissed her!)
She gives to our vision her girlish face,
     And we know how we've missed her—missed her!

For on a day she went away,
     Long ere the leaves were falling,
And came no more for the whitethroat's lay,
     Or the pewee's plaintive calling.

In tender tints on her broidered shoon
     Blossomed the leaves of the myrtle,
And silky buds of the darling June
     Were gathered up in her kirtle;

And fair, fair, fair, in her sunlit hair
     Were violets intertwining,
That seemed more fresh and unfading there
     Than with dewdrops on them shining!

She hid them all in her dim retreat;
     But, heart! a truce to sighing;
She's here—incomparably sweet,
     Unchanging and undying!

We see her brow, and we rejoice,
     Her cheek, as it pales and flushes,
We hear once more in her thrilling voice
     The note of the woodland thrushes;

And through her lashes, tear-empearled,
     A mystic light is breaking,
And all the love of the whole wide world
     Seems in her eyes awaking!
"Persephone" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine (April 1901), Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

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Monday, March 19, 2018


WE celebrate with pomp and pride
     A Cromwell or a Wellington;
We venerate who, self-denied,
     Earth's higher victories have won;
But through the all-remembering years,
We love who give us smiles and tears.

The voice that charmed us may grow still,
     The poet cease to weave his spell:
Ascended to the skyey hill
     Remote, where the immortals dwell,—
Time to our thought but more endears
     Who gave us smiles and gave us tears.
"Thomas Bailey Aldrich" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Writer (April 1907) and Lyrics of Life (1909).

Sunday, March 18, 2018


HOW do you know the Spring is nigh,
          Heart, my heart?
Is it a something in the sky?
Is it a perfume wafted by?
Or is it your own longing's cry—
          Heart, my heart?

Oh, yes, I know you 've ways to tell,
          Heart, my heart,
When Spring released from Winter's spell
Sows amaranth and asphodel:
Ways tender and impalpable,
          Heart, my heart:

Signs that have never yet betrayed,
          Heart, my heart:—
The bluebird's note in a leafless glade,
An answering rapture, half afraid,
The dream-filled eyes of a shy, sweet maid,—
          Heart, my heart!
"Divination" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Unconquered Air (1912) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


O LITTLE plant, so meek and slight,
     Tinct with the emerald of the sea
Which like a mother, day and night,
          Croons melodies to thee;
Emblem of Erin's hope and pride!
Though crushed and trampled under foot,
          Thou still art found
          The meadows round,
Up-springing from thine own sweet root!

Of sorrow thou hast been the sign
     Through weary, unforgiving years;
The dews upon thy tender vine
     Have seemed thy country's tears;
Now, now, forevermore, thou art
     Symbol of all that's brave and true—
          Blest as a smile
          Of thy sunlit isle,
In the Old World honored, and the New!

     For they lie asleep in a land of strangers,—
Far from the home their fame endears—
     The Inniskillings, the Connaught Rangers,
               The Dublin Fusiliers;
     And the little plant they loved so well—
          Better than fairest flower that blows—
               Is set apart
               In Britannia's heart
     With the Scottish thistle and the rose:

     Is set apart, and never again
          Shall human eyes the shamrock see
     Without a thought of the heroes slain
               Whose splendid loyalty,
     Stronger than ancient hate or wrong,
     Sublimed them 'midst the battle's hell—
               A tidal wave
               From the souls of the brave,
     That made them deathless as they fell!
"The Irish Shamrock in South Africa" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Friday, March 16, 2018

THE CLOUDS, a poem

THE clouds give back to earth again
     The moisture they absorb;
An atom floating in the sun
     Is lasting as an orb.

We fear lest ill should fly itself,
     And wrong at last prevail:
Lest good should lack its just reward
     And light untimely fail:

We falter, and distrust the fate
     We may not understand,
Interrogate the oracle,
     When God is close at hand.

And still the clouds go drifting by,
     Or fall in fruitful rain;
High over us the stars, undimmed,
     Benignant shine again;

And from that temple, viewless, vast,
     Where failure is unknown,
The Father of existences
     Keeps watch above his own.
"The Clouds" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

AN ADIEU, a poem

SORROW, quit me for a while!
     Wintry days are over;
Hope again, with April smile,
     Violet sows and clover.

Pleasure follows in her path,
     Love itself flies after,
And the brook a music hath
     Sweet as childhood's laughter.

Not a bird upon the bough
     Can repress its rapture,
Not a bud that blossoms now
     But doth beauty capture. . . .

Sorrow, thou art Winter's mate,
     Spring cannot regret thee;
Yet, ah, yet—my friend of late—
     I shall not forget thee!
"An Adieu" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's Monthly Magazine (July 1913) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

Trivia: "An Adieu" was read by actress Jenny Agutter in A Schubert Song Cycle performance featuring baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Susie Allan.