Susan Coolidge



A Portrait

by Susan Coolidge

All sweet and various things do lend themselves
And blend and intermix in her rare soul,
As chorded notes, which were untuneful else,
Clasp each the other in a perfect whole.

Within her spirit, dawn, all dewy-pearled,
Seems held and folded in by golden noons,
While past the sunshine gleams a further world
Of deep star-spaces and mysterious moons.

Like widths of blowing ocean wet with spray,
Like breath of early blooms at morning caught,
Like cool airs on the cheek of heated day,
Come the fair emanations of her thought.

Her movement, like the curving of a vine,
Seems an unerring accident of grace,
And like a flower 's the subtle change and shine
And meaning of her brightly tranquil face.

And like a tree, unconscious of her shade,
She spreads her helpful branches everywhere
For wandering bird or bee, nor is afraid
Too many guests shall crowd to harbor there.

For she is kinder than all others are,
And weak things, sad things, gather where she dwells,
To reach and taste her strength and drink of her,
As thirsty creatures of clear water-wells.

Why vex with words where words are poor and vain?
In one brief sentence lies the riddle's key,
Which those who love her read and read again,
Finding each time new meanings: She is she!


Copyright 1880
Roberts Brothers, Boston