Sunday, May 14, 2017


Florence Earle Coates' mother descended from a family long members of the Society of Friends.

Ellen Frances Van Leer Earle (1830-1892)
Original photo courtesy of Florence Earle Morrisey


AT twilight here I sit alone,
     Yet not alone; for thoughts of thee,—
Pale images of pleasure flown,—
     Like homing birds, once more return to me.

Again the shining chestnut braids
     Are soft enwreathed about thy brow,
And light—a light that never fades—
     Beams from thine eyes upon me even now,

As, all undimmed by death and night,
     Remembrance out of distance brings
Thy youthful loveliness, alight
     With ardent hope and high imaginings.

Ah, mortal dreams, how fair, how fleet!
     Thy yearnings scant fulfilment found;
Dark Lethe long hath laved thy feet
     And on thy slumber breaks no troubling sound;

Yet distance parts thee not from me,
     For beauty—or of twilight or of morn—
Binds me, still closer binds, to thee,
     Whose heart sang to my heart ere I was born.
"Mother" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Century Magazine (August 1908), Lyrics of Life (1909) and Poems (1916) Volume II.


THINK not of love as of a debt—
     Due or in May or in December!
Nay, rather, for a time, forget.
     Life always helps us to remember!

A child whom harmless toys beguile
     To loiter for a little while,
Put heart into your play, and then,
     When you are tired—come home again!

Fair, yet how fragile, pleasure's rose!—
     How vain the toil to make it stronger!
It blooms—it withers,—but love knows
     A sweeter blossom that lives longer!
"Mother-Love" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Cosmopolitan (December 1909), Lyrics of Life (1909) and Poems (1916) Volume II.


IN the arid and desolate places of life
     She opens fresh fountains of feeling;
She comforts the spirit o'erwearied with strife;
     For the hurt of the heart she has healing.

She looks on our sorrows with calm that is kind,
     (What recks she of failure or illness?)
And gives, with a smile, to the care-burdened mind
     The relief of her beauty and stillness.

She sings mid the tempest, she wings the storm's flight,
     (There's nothing can life from Life sever!)
To guide the lost wanderer safe through the night,
     She keeps a lamp burning forever.
"The All-Mother" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine (March 1914) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

Original photo courtesy of Florence Earle Morrisey
Keywords: Mother's Day

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