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ABRAHAM COLES
American physician and poet
(1813 - 1891)

Contending Passions jostle and displace
  And tilt and tourney mostly in the Face:
 * * * * *
Unmatched by Art, upon this wondrous scroll
  Portrayed are all the secrets of the soul.
      - [Face]

Eternity! How know we but we stand
  On the precipitous and crumbling verge
    Of Time e'en now, Eternity below?
      - [Eternity]

I value science--none can prize it more,
  It gives ten thousand motives to adore:
    Be it religious, as it ought to be,
      The heart it humbles, and it bows the knee.
      - [Science]

Let us not doubt that God has a father's pity towards us, and that in the removal of that which is dearest to us He is still loving and kind. Death separates, but it also unites. It reunites whom it separates.
      - [Death]

Much of our ignorance is of ourselves. Our eyes are full of dust. Prejudice blinds us.
      - [Prejudice]

None of the prophets old,
  So lofty or so bold!
    No form of danger shakes his dauntless breast;
      In loneliness sublime
        He dares confront the time,
          And speak the truth, and give the world no rest
            No kingly threat can cowardize his breath,
              He with majestic step goes forth to meet his death.
      - [Courage]

O loving woman, man's fulfillment, sweet,
  Completing him not otherwise complete!
    How void and useless the sad remnant left
      Were he of her, his nobler part, bereft.
      - [Women]

O most illustrious of the days of time!
  Day full of joy and benison to earth
    When Thou wast born, sweet Babe of Bethlehem!
      With dazzling pomp descending angels sung
        Good will and peace to men, to God due praise,
          Who on the errand of salvation sent
            Thee, Son Beloved! of plural Unity
              Essential part, made flesh that mad'st all worlds.
      - [Christmas]

O, beautiful and grand,
  My own, my native land!
    Of thee I boast:
      Great empire of the west,
        The dearest and the best,
          Made up of all the rest,
            I love thee most.
      - [Love of Country]

On eyes that watch as well as eyes that weep
  Descends the solemn mystery of sleep,
    Toiling and climbing to the very close,
      The weary Body, longing for repose,
        On the gained level of the day's ascent,
          Halts for the night and pitches there its tent.
      - [Sleep]

Poetry is unfallen speech. Paradise knew no other, for no other would suffice to answer the need of those ecstatic days of innocence.
      - [Poetry]

So many great nobles, things, administrations,
  So many high chieftains, so many brave nations,
    So many proud princes, and powers so splendid,
      In a moment, a twinkling, all utterly ended.
      - [Change]

Taking our stand on the immovable rock of Christ's character we risk nothing in saying that the wine of miracle answered to the wine of nature, and was not intoxicating. No counter proof can equal the force of that drawn from His attributes. It is an indecency and a calumny to impute to Christ conduct which requires apology.
      - [Wine and Spirits]

The grave, where sets the orb of being, sets
  To rise, ascend, and culminate above
    Eternity's horizon evermore.
      - [Graves]

The power to bind and loose to Truth is given:
  The mouth that speaks it is the mouth of Heaven,
    The power, which in a sense belongs to none,
      Thus understood belongs to every one.
      - [Truth]

The rain-drops' showery dance and rhythmic beat,
  With tinkling of innumerable feet.
      - [Rain]

The winds of winter wailing through the woods;
  The mighty laughter of the vernal floods.
      - [Wind]

To legislate each duty, were to count
  Drops of a stream that issue from one fount.
    God gives, since all effects are in their cause,
      For narrow prescripts universal laws.
      - [Cause]

True love is humble, thereby is it known;
  Girded for service, seeking not its own;
    Vaunts not itself, but speaks in self-dispraise.
      - [Love]

'Twas not the fading charms of face
  That riveted Love's golden chain;
    It was the high celestial grace
      Of goodness that doth never wane--
        Whose are the sweets that never pall,
          Delicious, pure, and crowning all.
      - [Beauty]

We hail the return of the day of thy birth,
  Fair Columbia! washed by the waves of two oceans
    Where men from the farthest dominions of earth
      Rear altars to Freedom, and pay their devotions;
        Where our fathers in fight, nobly strove for the Right,
          Struck down their fierce foemen or put them to flight;
            Through the long lapse of ages, that so there might be
              An asylum for all in the Land of the Free.
      - [Freedom]

Who has not seen that feeling born of flame
  Crimson the cheek at mention of a name?
    The rapturous touch of some divine surprise
      Flash deep suffusion of celestial dyes:
        When hands clasped hands, and lips to lips were pressed,
          And the heart's secret was at once confessed?
      - [Blushes]

Words are freeborn, and not the vassals of the gruff tyrants of prose to do their bidding only. They have the same right to dance and sing as the dewdrops have to sparkle and the stars to shine.
      - [Words]

Within a bony labrinthean cave,
  Reached by the pulse of the aerial wave,
    This sibyl, sweet, and Mystic Sense is found,
      Muse, that presides o'er all the Powers of Sound.
      - Man, the Microcosm; and the Cosmos (p. 51)
        [Hearing]

Fling out, fling out, with cheer and shout,
  To all the winds of Our Country's Banner!
    Be every bar, and every star,
      Displayed in full and glorious manner!
        Blow, zephyrs, blow, keep the dear ensign flying!
          Blow, zephyrs, sweetly mournful, sighing, sighing, sighing!
      - The Microcosm and other Poems (p. 191)
        [Flags]


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