Friday, June 23, 2017

IN MEMORY OF CAROLINE FURNESS JAYNE, a poem

Caroline Furness Jayne, American ethnologist and author of String Figures and How To Make Them (1906), died on this day in 1909. She was the daughter of Shakespearean scholar Horace Howard Furness, to whom Mrs. Coates dedicated her fourth volume of poetry, The Unconquered Air (1912).

Caroline Furness Jayne
drawing by Sonja N. Bohm
after portrait by Wm. Merritt Chase
COULDST thou—thou, also, die, whom life so cherished?
     Couldst thou go from us, in thy beauteous June,
Leaving a sense of joy untimely perished,
     Of music stilled too soon?

We had not dreamed, fair child, that thou before us
     Shouldst find the meadows of the asphodel—
Shouldst hear, ere we, "the high imagined chorus,"—
     But, ah, for thee, 't is well!

Not thine to creep reluctant to death's portal:
     Thy spirit from the mirk of transient things
Rose radiant to the light of the immortal,
     With eager, outstretched wings!

For the grave gods, bestowing every blessing
     Upon a child of Earth, ere grief should come,
Crowned thee, in youth, with the mild touch caressing
     That calls their loved ones home!
"In Memory of Caroline Furness Jayne" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine (October 1909), Lyrics of Life (1909) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

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