Helena Coleman (1860-1953)
See a short biography and notes at A Celebration of Women Writers.
Texts below from A Century of Canadian Sonnets.
Keep thou amidst the fulness of thy days
Some little space apart for thoughts of me,
Where all the best I have and am may be
Familiar and essential to thy ways;
Upon the hours' swift argosies emblaze
The prayer that ever shall encompass thee,
The hope, the aim, the spirit's sudden plea,
At once thy inspiration and thy praise.
For he who keeps within his heart a shrine
Where tender dreams may gather, makes defence
Against encroaching tides that undermine
The soul's integrity and confidence,
And I would have act in every act of thine
Love's presence conscious to thy deeper sense.
Among the Mountains
As far as sight could reach the wild peaks rose,
Tier after tier against the limpid blue,
Titanic forms that stormed the heavens anew
At every turn, crowned with imperial snows;
And then, as day sank softly to its close,
Diaphanous, ethereal they grew,
Mere wraiths of rainbow-mist that from our view,
Dream-laden, lapsed to darkness and repose.
And suddenly I found my vision blurred,
And knew that deeper chord was touched again
Which once in Hungary, when I had heard
A passionately wild, appealing strain
Of gypsy music, left me strangely stirred
With incommunicable joy and pain.
She sitteth in the sunshine, old and grey,
Her faded kerchief crossed upon her breast,
Her withered form in sober colors dressed,
Her thoughts fixed ever on the Far-away;
She scarcely sees the children at their play,
But looks beyond them to the crimsoning West
And still beyond, where everlasting rest
Remains to close and crown her little day.
But on her tranquil and unconscious face,
In lines engraved by joy no less than tears,
The story of her pilgrimage we trace,
For Youth, quick-flying, left his dearer part,
And all the fragrance of the vanished years,
Imperishable, lies within her heart.