Tuesday, September 5, 2017

IN WAR-TIME, poems

Florence Earle Coates and her husband Edward Hornor Coates were among other Americans delayed in England by the outbreak of war, and on 1 September 1914, they sailed from the port of Southampton, England on the Lapland back to New York City, arriving on 9 September 1914.

BREAKERS that beat against the shore
     With pulsing throb and angry roar
And multitudinous meanings evermore,—
Ye are to me as souls untaught of pain,
     That bent upon a fruitless quest
Still dash themselves 'gainst barrier laws in vain;
     But, oh, beyond your tumult and unrest,
Is Ocean like the Everlasting Will,—
So vast, so deep, so still!
Published in Poems (1916) Volume II.

The Lapland

FURTHER and further we leave the scene
     Of war—and of England's care;
I try to keep my mind serene,—
     But my heart stays there;

For a distant song of pain and wrong
     My spirit doth deep confuse,
And I sit all day on the deck, and long—
     And long for news!

I seem to see them in battle-line—
     Heroes with hearts of gold,
But of their victory a sign
     The Fates withhold;

And the hours too tardy-footed pass,
     The voiceless hush grows dense
Mid the imaginings, alas!
     That feed suspense.

Oh, might I lie on the wind, or fly
     In the wilful sea-bird's track,
Would I hurry on, with a homesick cry,—
     Or hasten back?
Published in Poems (1916) Volume II.

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