Monday, October 31, 2016

WHEN YOU CAME, a poem

DEAR, when you came the day was bright;
The moments, roseate to my sight,
     Flew by me, and my heart was glad
     Without you; but I loved you, lad—
Loved in my own despite!

As morn, I thought, so would be night,
Nor feared eclipsing cloud, nor blight—
     Nay, fancied naught to life could add,
          Dear, when you came!

And now—the good I deemed my right—
But you with love will still requite
     The follies that have made you sad!
     You smile—there—whisper! Nothing had
Illumined for me love's altar-light,
          Dear, when you came!
"When You Came" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's Weekly (31 October 1908) and Lyrics of Life (1909).

Sunday, October 30, 2016

JOHN HAY, a poem

AMID ferns and mosses brown,
From the little mountain-town,
     Through the driving rain they bore him,
Kearsarge frowning down:

Onward bore him, wrapped from sight
Under palms and blossoms white,—
     While the grieving hearts of thousands
Followed through the night

To that grave, love-sanctified,
Where, in the full summer-tide,
     Low they laid him, who had cherished
Sympathies world-wide.

Honored grave! Yet Azrael's dart
Only slays the mortal part,
     And they die not who have written
On the human heart.

Sad Roumania, far Peking,
East with West, his praise to sing
     Who deemed justice more than power,
Hither tribute bring;

And the mother-land who bore—
She whom most he labored for—
     Bows her head in sorrow, knowing
He returns no more.

Fame has crowned her own again,
Writing with illumined pen,—
     Lincoln's friend, who loved and truly
Served his fellow-men.
"John Hay" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Reader (October 1905) and Lyrics of Life (1909).

Saturday, October 29, 2016

UNCONQUERED, a poem

DEEM not, O Pain, that thou shalt vanquish me,
     Who know each treacherous pang, each last device,
     Whereby thou barrest the way to Paradise!
Inured to suffer constantly
     Thy joyless fellowship, I gain
     The lessons only taught by Pain,
And know, though broken, that my will
               Subdues thee still!

Man was not born the slave of things like thee
     And thy companion, Death: the livelong day
     He valiant strives, and holds ye still at bay;
And when he can no longer see
     For thickening shadows, faint and spent
     He bears his standard to his tent
And yields ye seeming victory;
          But—he is free!
"Unconquered" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Poems (1898) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

Friday, October 28, 2016

POOR ICARUS, a poem

The Fall of Icarus
Wikimedia Commons
POOR Icarus!—to soar so high,
Then fall! For you 't was vain to try
     By cunning craft, on faithless wings,
     To capture empyrean things,
That still to men the Fates deny!

Yet, even knowing Death so nigh,
Had you reluctant been to fly
     Beyond earth's sure, safe harborings,—
          Poor Icarus?

I think not so. All, all must die!
But you the pathways of the sky
     Found first, and tasted heavenly springs,
     Unfettered as the lark that sings,
And knew strange raptures,—though we sigh:
          "Poor Icarus!"
"Poor Icarus" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Unconquered Air (1912) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

On Perpetual Copyright

"The question of perpetual copyright is, in my judgement, entitled to the full and favorable consideration of the Congress of an enlightened republic.  There would seem to be every reason for the equitable protection, without limit as to time, of the unquestioned property rights of its citizens." ~Florence Earle Coates in The Literary World, 28 October 1899.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A MEETING IN THE FOREST, a poem

Drawing by Sonja N. Bohm (ca 1983)
LEAVING my tent once as the dawn grew fair,
     Behold! we stood at gaze, a deer and I,
     Regarding one another furtively,—
Too much surprised, too curious for a care
Beyond the miracle that each was there!
     An instant, then—as arrow swift doth fly,
     Sudden as light that darts across the sky—
Gone was he: and the wood seemed reft and bare.

What startled so the gentle, soft-eyed thing?
     'T was but my love his idle fear outran—
Love that would fain have fed him shoots of Spring,
     Balsam and cedar from the groves of Pan!
Why fled he? Ah, a voice admonishing
     Whispered the free, wild creature: "It is Man!"
"A Meeting in the Forest" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Poems (1916) Volume I.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

THE LORDLY PINES, a poem

THE lordly pines like grasses wave,
     And bend before the wind,
Content to compromise with Fate,
     Security to find;
But when the storm's full wrath is spent—
     Its futile passion o'er,
The pines majestic lift their heads,
     As lordly as before!
"The Lordly Pines" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Poems (1916) Volume I.

Windswept Pines by Guy Rose
Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

IN THE WOOD, a poem

I WOKE in suffering, and sadly heard,
     Hard by my tent, repeated cries of pain,
     That to the wilderness, in wildest strain,
Proclaimed the trouble of a mother bird
Robbed of her young; and I, too deeply stirred,
     Thought as above me fell the ceaseless rain,
     Wherefore should one who slumbers wake again,
Since anguish is the universal word?

Then suddenly aloft the wood there rose
     The holy anthem of the hermit thrush,
     From depths of happiness toward Heaven swelling;
And o'er the forest came an awed repose,
     And griefs that chid the stormy night grew hush,
     List'ning that wondrous ecstasy upwelling!
"In the Wood" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Poems (1898) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

Monday, October 24, 2016

DRYAD SONG, a poem

WHEN the wolds of Lycæus are silvery fair,
     When Mænalian forests are doubtful and dim,
When the hound strains the leash and the wolf quits his lair,
     And the startled fawn flies from the fountain's cool rim;
When with panting delight we impatiently follow
The shuddering stags over hillock and hollow,—
     A form from the shadows comes bounding out,
     And we know it is Pan by his horrid shout:

     A form from the shadows comes bounding out,
     At head of the Satyrs' impetuous rout,
     And we know it is Pan, we know it is Pan,
     We know it is Pan by his horrid shout!

When hidden with Dian in deep woodland bower,
     We loosen her quiver, her sandals unbind,
Bathe her beautiful feet in the pearl-trickling shower,
     Pellucid and pure; when we deftly enwind
The silvery fillet that clasps and caresses
The wonder and wealth of her shadowy tresses,—
     A face through the pleachèd blooms stealthily peers,
     And we know it is Pan by his furry ears:

     A face through the pleachèd blooms stealthily peers,
     Makes mouths to affright us, then mocks at our fears,
     And we know it is Pan, we know it is Pan,
     We know it is Pan by his furry ears!

When, shunning the shafts of Apollo at noon,
     To the kindly green coverts we thankfully creep,
Athirst for fresh runnels, and ready to swoon,—
     Oft, sudden we come to one fallen asleep:
Fallen asleep mid the tangle and grasses
That trip up the confident clown as he passes,
     And fearful we peep at the form supine,
     For we know it is Pan, though he makes no sign.

     And fearful we peep at the form supine,
     With the hoofs of a goat and the brow divine,
     For we know it is Pan, we know it is Pan,
     We know it is Pan, though he makes no sign!

When the shepherds are gone from the sunset hills,
     When evening is mildest in dingle and dale,
Through the hush comes a sound that enraptures and thrills,
     Light wafted along on the tremulous gale:
So passionate-sweet, so wildly out-welling,
That Ladon hears it with bosom swelling.
     We listen and sigh,—sigh and listen again,
     For we know it is Pan by that melting strain!

     We listen and sigh,—sigh and listen again,
     While the lithe reeds quiver as if in pain,—
     For we know it is Pan, we know it is Pan,
     We know it is Pan by that melting strain!
"Dryad Song" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Poems (1898) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

LAMENT OF BRÜNHILDE, a poem

MIDST rejoicings I have wept,
And in hours when others slept,
     I have looked on Horror's face,
          In this place.
Now midst wailings I alone
     Hush the voice of mortal sorrow,
Gaze on thee, again mine own!—
     Fear no parting for the morrow.

For we meet, love, as before,
By a flame-encircled shore.
     Thou once more hast stemmed the tide,
          To thy bride;
And I wake at thy command
     From my agony of dreaming,
And thy ring is on my hand,
     And I feel its clasp redeeming!

Heart to heart again responds,
Death asunder rends my bonds,
     From long exile sets me free,—
          Gives me thee!
And submissive to his will,
     With a rapture that betrays not,
Siegfried, I embrace thee still,
     And the wrath of gods dismays not!

Ah, they pitied not my pain!
Merciless, they saw thee slain,—
     Smiling though the cruel dart
          Pierced my heart,—
But with glory none shall dim
     Thou hast passed the dreaded portal,
And I bless the will of Him
     Who, in anger, made me mortal!

I shall rest, when Odin, late,
Mourns forlorn Brünhilde's fate:
     Mourns her truth, dishonor made—
          Faith betrayed;
For the Nornen ne'er forget;
     In their awful hands they hold him,
And as my spent sun shall set;
     Glooms eternal shall infold him.

Changeless guardians who keep
Watch and ward, shall give me sleep,
     When hot tears—not mine—are shed
          For thee, my dead!
When thy foes in vain repent,
     Hopeless, for thy ruin languish,
When Valhalla's towers are rent
     In remembrance of my anguish!...

Godlike hero, thou and I
Loved as none should love who die!
     Dost thou call? Thy funeral pyre,
          Kindling higher,
Weds me to my destiny.
     Bridegroom! lover! last desire!
Thou who crossed the flames to me!—
     Swift to thee I mount through fire!
"Lament of Brünhilde" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Poems (1898) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

L'AMOUR FAIT PEUR, a poem

Written in Baltimore, Marlyand, "L'Amour Fait Peur" by Florence Earle Coates was published in The Independent (22 October 1908), Lyrics of Life (1909) and Poems (1916) Volume II.
A COWARD is man, yet a hero
     Whose will overmasters his fear,
Till peril no longer appals him,
     And danger itself groweth dear.
Poised and strong, asking no intervention,
     He hazards the rock and the shoal;
One only thing halts his pretension,—
     Love frightens the soul.

Self-disciplined, slowly but surely,
     Disaster accustomed to brave,
He makes a companion of sorrow,
     Nor falters at threat of the grave;
Nay, often would hold it at nearer
     Approach, a beneficent goal—
But, ah! with the thought of one dearer,
     Love frightens the soul!

Friday, October 21, 2016

THE HOSPITAL, a poem

I

IN THE MATERNITY WARD
IS this the place? So still!—as with the hush
     That follows storm.
Each on her narrow bed, they quiet lie—
They who, so young, have been so near to die—
     Seeming of life but effigy and form.

How fair these girlish faces with closed eyes!
     Passion and strife
Seem far from them. Are these beyond their reach?
Nay, see!—high-cradled at the foot of each,
     A tender, new-born miracle of life!

On slippered feet the nurses to and fro
     Move noiselessly.
A feeble cry!—a sigh half breathed in sleep!
But who is this that vigil here doth keep—
     What presence of august benignity?

O strangely moving vision! I behold
     The Mighty Mother!—
She who, wandering friendless and forlorn,
Sought far and near the child herself had borne,
     Finding nor help nor comfort in another.

Over the weakness here so proven strength,
     She, heavenly,
Bends down; and, lo! the room becomes a shrine
And hallowed altar for a love divine,
     Pure as her love for lost Persephone!
II

IN THE SURGICAL WARD
"He that loveth his life shall lose it"
     Last night a shape of fear
     Came in the silence drear—
          Unlooked-for and unsought—
With stealthy, ghost-like motion drawing near.

     I could not see its face
     In the unlighted place;
          No sound of it I caught;
But, shuddering, I felt its creeping pace.

     A thing too dread to bear,
     I knew that it was there.
          And, my warm blood grown cold,
An icy breathing horror stirred my hair.

     With pain-shut eyes I lay,
     Wishing yet dreading day
          That with strange pangs untold
Should come, my frame to rack in a new way,

     And powerless to free
     Myself, despairingly,
          "From the body of this death,"
I moaned, "Who shall deliver me?"

     Then, all my pulses stirred,
     Awed and amazed, I heard—
          Uttered with calming breath
Distinct and clear, apart from me—a word,

     In far Judæa taught,
     That instant freedom brought,—
          Winging my soul's escape
Through the blest miracle of heavenly thought.

     And in the dreaming dawn,
     Waiting, all fear withdrawn,
          I knew the coward Shape
From out my life forevermore was gone.
"The Hospital" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in part as "In the Maternity Ward" in The Forum (October 1913), and subsequently in both parts in The Unconquered Air (1912) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

MY COUNTRY, a poem

BELOVÈD thou hast triumphed everywhere!
     Thou hast outgrown, men say, that selfless Right
     Which bade thee for the weak expend thy might;
And as a giant strong, dost claim thy share
Of earth's rich conquest, and will naught forbear.
     I listen, and behold, with grievèd sight,
     Upon thy beauteous brow a baleful light,
And something sinister, new-written there.

O my belovèd! art thou changed, indeed?
     Remembering thy birth and peerless dower,
     Canst thou thine altars to Compassion find?
Ah, woe if thou deface them! set to feed
     The unappeasèd lust of wealth and power
     That leagues with the oppressors of mankind!
"My Country" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Mine and Thine (1904).

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A TOMB IN TUSCANY, a poem

Presumably a poem about the monument of Archpriest Bartolomeo Aragazzi, secretary of Pope Martin V. "Twelve years before his death ... he commissioned Donatello and Michelozzo to make his monument for the parish church of Montepulciano (his native town) at an expense of twenty-four thousand scudi. Such a use of his money corroborates the general opinion that he was as eminent for his vanity as for his poetry and learning." (Tuscan Sculptors Volume I by Charles C. Perkins, 1864)

Tomb of Bartolomeo Aragazzi
Wikimedia Commons
IN Montepulciano fair,—
Long famous for that vintage rare,
Prized by the giver of the vine
       Above all wine,—
There dwelt a man whose years had taught him
To seek, beyond what wealth had brought him,
Something to give his transient name
       A lasting fame.

"For lordly palaces," he said,
"Shall crumble; ay, and bastions dread,
And temples grave and gardens gay
       Become as they;
Each vaunted image of my power
Shall perish like a wayside flower,
And like the hawk my hand hath fed
       Lie waste and dead.

"Wherefore, ere yet my days be spent,
I will uprear a monument
That 'gainst the envious floods of Time
       Shall stand sublime;
My treasures vast shall serve and cherish
An art too heavenly to perish:
A beauty, born of passion pure,
       That shall endure!"

So spake he. . . .  Now he lies asleep;
But near him forms angelic keep
Unwearied watch, and from decay
       Guard him alway:
Rare sculptured forms that blend his story
With Donatello's deathless glory,
And make mankind his debtors be
       Eternally.

For lordly castles, as he said,
Have crumbled; aye, and bastions dread,
And temples grave and gardens gay
       Are now as they:
Each vaunted image of his power
Has perished like a wayside flower,
But living in the art he fed,
       He is not dead!
"A Tomb in Tuscany" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Poems (1898) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

VAGRANT, a poem

THE love that has no memories and no hope,
     Is like the weed that blossoms for an hour;
     That putting forth its one imperfect flower,
Straightway doth languish.  It can neither cope
     With the strong tempest, nor with the mild power
     Of mellow sunlight, nor with the soft shower.

It has no root in nature, and it dies,
     Leaving no fragrance and no fruit behind;
     And none lament it, nor return to find
Its bed when, beaten low, it bruisèd lies:
     Unfriended, and forsaken of its kind,
     It blows about, at mercy of the wind.
"Vagrant" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Poems (1898).

Mine and Thine: a new project at LibriVox.org

LibriVox.org has posted a new project, Mine and Thine by Florence Earle Coates. Link here to check out its progress or contribute your voice! Past LibriVox.org projects have included recordings of Coates' "Near and Far" and "October."



Monday, October 17, 2016

LOVE, DOST THOU SMILE? a poem

LOVE, dost thou smile, believing thou shalt cheat
The triform Fates, because thou art so sweet?
Thy beauty, which delights and makes afraid,
Shall surely as the rose of autumn fade,
And pain and grief shall find thee, and slow scorn;
     And thou shalt know neglect, and friendship hollow;
And at the last, pale hope, thy light of morn,
     Shall bring thee to a goal where none will follow.

Love, dost thou weep—in all the sorrowing earth,
Thou the one only thing of perfect worth?
Midnight and morn alike to thee belong;
Poor, thou art rich; defenceless, thou art strong;
Upon thy altar burns perpetual fire
     That mounts and flames aloft to heaven's high portal;
Thou quickenest, from evil, pure desire,—
     Triumphant in defeat, in death immortal!
"Love, Dost Thou Smile?" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's Monthly Magazine (October 1905), Lyrics of Life (1909) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

OF LOVE, a poem

OF Love the gods require no task,
Content to grant whate'er may ask
     The boy from Venus sprung,—
For howsoever grave his mask,
     They know the lad is young:

Aye, young, indeed! Though, spite of warning,
Often at dusk, all prudence scorning,
     He daring sail unfurls,—
Yet, fragrant still, the breath of morning
     Lingers amid his curls.

What count takes he of days or years?—
E'en pain itself but more endears
     The strange, immortal boy,
Who whilst his eyes o'er-brim with tears,
     Yet keeps the heart of joy!
"Of Love" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's Bazar (October 1906) and Lyrics of Life (1909).

Saturday, October 15, 2016

SO YOU LOVE ME, a poem

SO you love me, have no care;
Mine will be the strength to dare
Perils that without your love
Greater than my strength might prove.
Never any knight who had
Felt your touch an accolade,
But had grown more brave, more true,
Sweetheart! sweetheart!—
     Loved by you.

In your chalice, my one rose,
All earth's fragrance you enclose;
Through your light, my one, one star,
Heaven draws me from afar.
Easy were it to lay down
All things save your love,—my crown,
And, in dying, life renew,
Sweetheart! sweetheart!—
     Loved by you.
"So You Love Me" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's Bazar (October 1911), The Unconquered Air (1912) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

UNITED, a poem

OUR single lives are circled round
     By an embracing sea;
Are joined to all that has been, bound
     To all that is to be:
The past and future meet and cross,
And in life's ocean is no loss.

The music of the summer dawn,
     The silence of the midnight sky,
The stars, in azure deeps withdrawn,
     Reveal a single mystery:
And blent with these, the whisperings
     Of spirit find each shy retreat,
And link the soul with viewless things,
     In union close and sweet.

Failure itself may count as gain
     In aspiration; paved with fire
May be the path that leads from pain;
     And unfulfilled desire
May kindle that pure flame above
Whose earthly name is love!
"United" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Mine and Thine (1904).

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"A Camp in the Adirondacks"


A Camp in the Adirondacks

The Summer Home of Mrs. Florence Earle Coates,
the Philadelphia Poet

PLACES in which literary work that meets with the popular favor is produced, are naturally places to be regarded with curiosity and interest by the many readers to whom the authors of appreciative works have, in a sense at least, become familiar. In looking about us in the literary world we find that almost invariably the homes of authors abound in interesting features. Location, arrangement, decoration—all contribute to a better understanding of the personality which is in them reflected... (read more)

"A Camp in the Adirondacks." Published in Book News Monthly (October 1905) Vol. 24 No. 278 pp. 69-72.

BUFFALO, a poem

McKinley assassination
Wikimedia Commons
On 6 September 1901, President William McKinley was shot and fatally wounded by an anarchist in Buffalo, New York.

SEPTEMBER 6, 1901
 A TRANSIENT city, marvelously fair,—
     Humane, harmonious, yet nobly free,—
     She built for pure delight and memory.
At her command, by lake and garden rare,
Pylon and tower majestic rose in air,
     And sculptured forms of grace and symmetry.
     Then came a thought of God, and, reverently,—
"Let there be Light!" she said; and Light was there.

O miracle of splendor! Who could know
     That Crime, insensate, egoist and blind,
          Destructive, causeless, caring but to smite,
     Would in its dull Cimmerian gropings find
A sudden way to fill those courts with woe,
     And swallow up that radiance in night?

"Buffalo" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Independent (10 October 1901), Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume I.


McKINLEY
Peace!—mourn no more the martyr's fate!
Death came—though by the hand of hate,
His faithful life to vindicate,
     His name to set apart.
No more assailed, misunderstood,
He sleeps where love his grave hath strewed,
Safe sentinelled by gratitude,—
     The memory of the heart.

"McKinley" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Era (October 1901).

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

IN THE TOWN A WILD BIRD SINGING, a poem

"Hear me, Theresa, Theresa, Theresa!"
HARK! Do I dream? Nay, even now I heard
     The whitethroat's music, tremulous yet clear:
The very plaint, O lonely bird,
That often midst the greening woods hath stirred
     My heart; but never here!

This is the City! High above the street,
     Before my window singing in the dawn,
By what imagination dost thou cheat
Thy hope to utter melody so sweet,
     Far from thy groves withdrawn?

Thy tones transport me, wistful, to the North,
     Seeming to lay a touch upon my brow
     Cool as the balsam-laden airs that now
Through pine-woods blow: they woo my spirit forth—
     Forth of the town—forth of myself. But thou?

Dost thou an exile wander from thy home
     Or art thou hast'ning thither?
Through what beguilement dost thou friendless roam?
     And goest thou—ah, whither?

Day quickly fades, Night may refuse her star,
     Clouds may arise, and elemental strife,—
     Ah, hapless bird! what Wanderlust of life
Betrayed thy wings so far?

Full as my soul of tremulous desires,
     Thy voice I hear in supplication rise.
     "Theresa!" dost thou call? Unto the skies
The plaint, adoring, holily aspires:—
"Theresa!" Is it she keeps watch o'er thee?—
Homeless—but free?

Wise minstrel! Thou dost well to call on her;
No saint was ever lovelier.
Her heart had room for such wide tenderness
     As his who "Little Sister" called the birds,
     And pity, deeper than all words,
Taught her, like him, to bless.

Silent? Where art thou? Lo, the City wakes!
Toil's round begins, and calm the world forsakes.
Thou, too, art gone!—nor evermore shalt come
     Without my window here at dawn to sing.
     Adieu, strange guest! Theresa guide thy wing
Safe to the sweet wild woods that are thy home!
"In the Town a Wild Bird Singing" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's Monthly Magazine (October 1912), The Unconquered Air (1912) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Monday, October 10, 2016

"I LONGED FOR LOVE", a poem

I LONGED for love, and eager to discover
     Its hiding-place, I wandered far and wide;
And as forlorn I sought the lone world over,
     Unrecognized, love journeyed at my side.

I craved for peace, and priceless years expended
     In unrewarded search from shore to shore;
But home returned, the weary seeking ended,
     Peace welcomed me where dwelt my peace of yore!
"I Longed for Love" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Outlook (10 October 1903), Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

THE ORCHESTRAL LEADER, a poem

ALL eyes upon him centred, motionless,
     Yet tensely watchful, vividly aware,
     He stands an instant waiting.  In the air
His mystic wand, uplifted, seems to bless
The Silence, while it calls to readiness
     Forces that overwhelming Silence there,
     Shall in its stead give Sound so sweet and rare
As must its every parting pang redress.

Magician and enchanter, he doth hold
In his fine hand tones, accents, manifold,
     Interpreting the gods to mortal men:
His are the nerves that vitalize the rest;
The central heart of all beats in his breast;
     Through him the very dead revive and speak again.
"The Orchestral Leader" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Unconquered Air (1912).

Saturday, October 8, 2016

MEDIÆVAL, a poem

SHE said: "My babe is dead:
     Unchristened did he die.
I wake in the long, lone night
     And hear his plaintive cry.

"I wonder does God hear,
     And will not let him in—
My little one who died
     All innocent of sin?

"The wicked, who repent,
     Win heaven, so men say;
And was my bonny child
     Less dear to Him than they?

"There's not a soul in bliss,
     Rejoicing in God's Son,
That's purer or more sweet
     Than was my little one!

"Lowly, at Mary's shrine
     Before the dawn of day
I kneel, for him to plead
     Who was too small to pray

"Ah, mother blessed! bring
     My babe to know the light!
Or, pitying, win for me
     With him to roam the night!"
"Mediæval" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Poems (1916) Volume II and as "Medieval" in The Bellman (13 September 1913).

Friday, October 7, 2016

"EACH AND ALL", a poem

I SAW a soul contended for
     By Evil and by Good;
And watching with solicitude—
     As if my yearning could
Some succor bring—I trembled
     Whiles the tempter was withstood.

Yet, soul—my soul, what meant the strife
     To thee?—what power had
Another's wrong to make thee feel
     Thyself so wronged and sad?
And when at last Good overcame,—
     O why wast thou so glad?
"Each and All" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Lyrics of Life (1909).

Thursday, October 6, 2016

THE CHRIST OF THE ANDES, a poem

FAR, far the mountain-peak from me
Where lone he stands, with look caressing;
     Yet from the valley, wistfully
     I lift my dreaming eyes, and see
His hand stretched forth in blessing.

     Never bird sings nor blossom blows
Upon that summit chill and breathless
     Where throned he waits amid the snows;
     But from his presence wide outflows
Love that is warm and deathless!

     O Symbol of the great release
From war and strife!—unfailing fountain
     To which we turn for joy's increase,
     Fain would we climb to heights of Peace—
Thy peace upon the mountain!
"The Christ of the Andes" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Lyrics of Life (1909) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

DÄI NIPPON, a poem

APART from all,
     "Child of the World's old age,"
Heedful of naught beyond the billowy wall
     That closely girt her island hermitage,
She pondered still with half-averted look,
The early lessons of the great World-book,
     Nor cared to turn the page;

For a strange dread
     Possessed her. To invoke
Aid of her gods she tried,—scarce comforted
     That countless barrier-waves about her broke;
But when with bold command, in Yeddo Bay
A squadron anchored—oh, prodigious day!—
     The Orient awoke!

Though one long blind,
     At first in fruitless quest
Must grope her course, yet, with enlarging mind,
     She quickly clearer saw; and from her breast
Sent forth brave sons—of her new hunger taught—
     Who, one by one returning, to her brought
The Wisdom of the West.

Then earth beheld,
     With awe and wonderment,
Goliath by this stripling nation felled,
     Which—rising by no tedious ascent—
Swift as the upward flight of wind-swept flame,
Leapt from obscurity to dazzling fame,—
     Star of the Orient!

And yet she won
     Sublimer victories,
Who, high enlightened all excess to shun,
     Did not exact remorseless penalties,
Nor force a brave and fallen foe to drain
Humiliation's brimming cup of pain
     Down to the poisoned lees.

In lieu of things
     Ephemeral—less worth,
She full revealed the sweep of her strong wings,
     And gained the suffrage of the grateful earth;
Choosing, as war should from her realms depart,
To give herself to the enduring Art
     That was her own at birth.

Ah, great Japan,—
     Who, staying griefs appalling,
Approved thyself magnanimous to man,—
     The World, that long had felt thy charm enthralling,
Has laid full many laurels on thy brow;
But with a new, diviner accent now
     She hears the East a-calling! 
"Däi Nippon" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Independent (5 October 1905), Lyrics of Life (1909) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

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.

Monday, October 3, 2016

MEMORIA, a poem

An autograph verse, signed copy of "Memoria"
by Florence Earle Coates.
IF only in my dreams I may behold you,
     Still hath the day a goal;
If only in my dreams I may enfold you,
     Still hath the night a soul.
Leaden the hours may press upon my spirit,
     Nor one dear pledge redeem,—
I will not chide, so they at last inherit
     And crown me with the rapture of that dream.
Ten thousand blossoms earth's gay gardens cherish;
     One pale, pale rose is mine.
Of frost or blight the rest may quickly perish,—
     Not so that rose divine.
Deathless it blooms in quiet realms Elysian;
     And when toil wins me rest,
Forgetful of all else, in blissful vision
     I breathe my rose, and clasp it to my breast!
"Memoria" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in the Atlantic Monthly (October 1890), and subsequently in Poems (1898) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

LIFE, a poem

BEFORE we knew thee thou wert with us; aye,
     In that far time forgotten and obscure
     When, doubtful of ourselves, of naught secure,
     We feebly uttered first our human cry.
We had not murmured hadst thou passed us by,
     And now, with all our vaunted knowledge sure,
     We know not from what source of bounty pure
     Thou camest, our dull clay to glorify.

Yet—for thou didst awake us when but dust,
     Careless of thee—one tender hope redeems
     Each loss by the dark river: more and more
We feel that we who long for thee may trust
     To wake again, as children do from dreams,
     And find thee waiting on the farther shore.
"Life" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Century Magazine (October 1893), Poems (1898) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

OCTOBER, a poem

SWEET are the woodland notes
That gush melodious at morn from palpitating throats,
In anthems fresh as dew! Ay, they are sweet!
            But from that dim retreat
Where Evening muses through the pensive hours,
            There sometimes floats along
            A more appealing song.
So, love, thy voice breathes a diviner music in the chill
     Of autumn, when the glen is still
     And Flora's gold all tarnished on the hill,
Than in the time when merry May calls forth her bashful flowers.
"October" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine (October 1891), Poems (1898), and Poems (1916) Volume I.

On this day in 1873

Alice N. Trask in 1921
Daughter Alice is born. Alice Earle Nicholson (1873-1955), was "totally deaf for most of her life" (beginning ca. 1910 with three young children). Alice would later become a teacher of lip-reading in San Francisco (circa 1915-1922), and in 1922 founded the Trask School of Lip-Reading in Philadelphia, where she worked and taught until just before her death in 1955.

For a listing of some of Alice' writings in the Volta Review, please visit her author page at Wikisource.