Tuesday, July 11, 2017

HELEN KELLER WITH A ROSE, and other poems

Published in the July 1905 issue of The Century Magazine, "Helen Keller with a Rose" was written after Mrs. Coates viewed the above image published in the January 1905 issue of the same magazine.

OTHERS may see thee; I behold thee not;
     Yet most I think thee, beauteous blossom, mine:
     For I, who walk in shade, like Proserpine—
Things once too briefly looked on, long forgot—
     Seem by some tender miracle divine,
When breathing thee, apart,
To hold the rapturous summer warm within my heart.
We understand each other, thou and I!
     Thy velvet petals laid against my cheek,
     Thou feelest all the voiceless things I speak,
And to my yearning makest mute reply:
     Yet a more special good of thee I seek,
For God who made—oh, kind!—
Beauty for one and all, gave fragrance for the blind!
"Helen Keller with a Rose" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Century Magazine (July 1905) and Lyrics of Life (1909).


LIFE has its limitations manifold:
     All life; not only that which throbs in thee,
     And strains its fetters, eager to be free.
The faultless eye may not thy vision hold—
Maiden, whose brow with thought is aureoled—
     And they who hear may lack the ministry,
     The august influence, of Silence, she
Who brooded o'er the void in ages old.

Prisoner of the dark inaudible,
     Light, which the night itself could not eclipse,
          Thou shinest forth Man's being to reveal.
     We learn with awe from thine apocalypse,
That nothing can the human spirit quell,
          And know him lord of all things, who can feel!
"To Helen Keller" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Scribner's Magazine (September 1903), Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume I.



AS mute against the gate of life you sit,
     Longing to open it,
Full oft you must behold, in thought, a maid
With banner white, whose lilies do not fade,
     And armor glory lit.

Across the years, darkling, you still must see,
     In the hush of memory,
Her whom no wrong of Fate could make afraid—
Of all the maidens of the world, The Maid!
     In her brave purity.

For she, like you, was singly set apart,
     O high and lonely heart!—
And hearkened Voices, silent save to her,
And looked on visions she might not transfer
     By any loving art,—

Knew the dread chill of isolation, when
     Life darkened to her ken;
Yet could not know, as round her closed the night,
How radiant and far would shine her light,—
     A miracle to men!
"Against the Gate of Life" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine (December 1910) and The Unconquered Air (1912).

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