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!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

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."