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About this poet

Florence Earle Coates was born on July 1, 1850, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She married Edward H. Coates in 1879, and she served as a leader in multiple social organizations, including the Society of Mayflower Descendants. Her poems began appearing in magazines in the 1890s, and she published her first poetry collection, Poems (Houghton Mifflin), in 1898. Coates was also the author of Pro Patria (Philadelphia, 1917), a collection of poems about World War I; The Unconquered Air (Houghton Mifflin, 1912); Lyrics of Life (Houghton Mifflin, 1909); and Mine and Thine (Houghton Mifflin, 1904). She was named the poet laureate of Pennsylvania in 1915. She died on April 6, 1927, in Philadelphia.


In War-Time

(An American Homeward-Bound)

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 willful sea-bird’s track,
Would I hurry on, with a homesick cry—
    Or hasten back?

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Florence Earle Coates

Florence Earle Coates was born in 1850 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the author of several books of poetry, including Pro Patria (Philadelphia, 1917), a collection about World War I. 

by this poet


August 14, 1914

(Since the bombardment of Strasburg, August 14, 1870, her statue in Paris, representing Alsace, has been draped in mourning by the French people.)

Near where the royal victims fell
In days gone by, caught in the swell
Of a ruthless tide
Of human passion, deep and wide: