Tuesday, June 19, 2018

BEREFT, a poem

DEATH took away from me my heart's desire,—
     Full suddenly, without a word of warning;
Froze with benumbing touch her body's fire,
     And darkened her young morning.

Death hid her then where she is safe, men say,—
     Imprisoned in a deep-digged grave and hollow,
Where grief and pain may never find a way,
     Nor any torment follow.

Safe!—and because of fear, they deem 't was best
     For her, perchance,—this thing which they call dying,
But cold she could not be against my breast
     As there where she is lying!

Sometimes I dream, with sudden, wild delight,
     That she escapes the cruel bonds that bind her,
And fond I seek through all the throbbing night,
     But never, never find her!

Sometimes—But have the dead then no regrets?—
     Ah, me! I think, though she hath so bereft me,
My loved one cannot be where she forgets
     How lonely she hath left me!
"Bereft" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Reader (June 1907), Lyrics of Life (1909) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Monday, May 7, 2018


THE Ship of the Spring in the offing at last!
     Oh, rude blew the hindering gales,
But perfumes entrancing, the danger o'erpast,
     Are wafted afar, from her sails!

The bearer of treasure more fragrant than myrrh—
     More precious than jewels of Inde,
The stars in their courses keep watch over her,
     The gods for her temper the wind.

She comes as a maid whom life's vision elates,
     Out-spreading her draperies white;
She comes as a bride whom a lover awaits
     With proud and impatient delight.

A queen, as she glides to the goal of her dreams
     With movement majestic and slow,
So still is her beauty, half-conscious she seems,—
     But the heart in her breast is aglow;

For she hears the far murmur of myriad things
     That shall at her coming have birth.
O sails in the offing! ye are as the wings
     Of angels that bring her to Earth!
"In the Offing" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Minaret (May 1917).

Sunday, May 6, 2018


O BEAUTY! vision of forgotten gladness!
     Fulfillment of a dream that ne'er betrays!
O miracle of hope, and balm of sadness!
     Creative ecstasy and fount of praise!

     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·

I lay upon the ground and gave no token,
     I hid my face mid sodden leaves and sere,
My languid pulses chill, my spirit broken,—
     I knew not, O divine one! you were near;

For snows and frosts of winter, new-departed,
     Still held my will in thrall and weighed me down;
And I forgot—forlorn and heavy-hearted—
     Your promise, goddess of the violet crown!

But soft as music in remembrance sighing,
     You fanned me with your wooing breath, and I
Who shed no tears when lone I seemed and dying
     Wept at your touch, and knew I should not die.

Now by my banks are tender blossoms blowing:
     In fragrant loveliness they smile on me,—
But I must hasten to the river, knowing
     The river will lead onward to the sea.

High over me the budding branches quiver
     With songs that swell in happy harmony;
But sweeter is the murmur of the river,—
     The river that leads onward to the sea!
"Brook Song: To the Spring" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Outlook (6 May 1899), Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Saturday, May 5, 2018


SHE will not hear you if you sing,
Bluebird and whitethroat of the Spring!
Why did you stay away so long,
She wearying for your song?

She will not notice if you pass,
Sweet airs that woo the meadow grass!
Why could you not have spread, more fleet,
Soft carpet for her feet?

She will not see the crocus rise,
Nor smile into the violet's eyes;
Pale dogwood bloom from Winter snow
My darling will not know.

You come too late! too late, too late,
O longed-for Spring! She tried to wait,
Wistful your breathing joys to share.
Come now,—she will not care!
"She will not hear" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Outlook (5 May 1915) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Friday, May 4, 2018

IMMORTAL, a poem

LIFE is like a beauteous flower,
     Closing to the world at even,—
Closing for a dreamless hour,
     To unfold, with dawn, on heaven.

Life is like a bird that nests
     Close to earth, no shelter scorning,
Yet, upmounting from her breast,
     Fills the skies with song at morning.
"Immortal" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine (October 1894), Poems (1898) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Thursday, May 3, 2018


WHEN wintry wells are water-filled,
And killing Death itself is killed,
Then wing├Ęd things begin to build;
And maids and men with happy birds do sing,
For every heart's a lover in the spring!

When brooklets ripple into song,
And strivings faint of life grow strong,
Then all things 'gin to dream and long;
And maids and men with wistful birds do sing,
For every heart's a poet in the spring!
"Every Heart" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Poems (1916) Volume I.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

RHAPSODY, a poem

AS the mother-bird to the waiting nest
     As the regnant moon to the sea,
As joy to the heart that hath first been blest—
     So is my love to me!

Sweet as the song of the lark that soars
     From the net of the fowler free,
Sweet as the morning that song adores—
     So is my love to me!

As the rose that blossoms in matchless grace
     Where the canker may not be,
As the well that springs in a desert place—
     So is my love to me!
"Rhapsody" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Poems (1898) and Poems (1916) Volume I.