Rose Terry Cooke

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Rose Terry Cooke Poems

I watch her in the corner there,
As, restless, bold, and unafraid,
She slips and floats along the air

Sunset on the mountains hoary,
Deepens into night;
Day hath lost its crown of glory,
Life hath lost its light.

Night comes creeping slowly o'er me,
Like a vapor cold and gray;
Dim the track that lies before me,
Lost the lingering smile of day.


IF I were a cloud in heaven,
I would hang over thee;
If I were a star of even,
I ’d rise and set for thee;

Singer of priceless melody,
Underguerdoned chorister of air,
Who from the lithe top of the tree
Pourest at will thy music rare,
As if a sudden brook laughed down the hill-side there.

The summer sun bedecks Anjou,
The harvest time keeps promise true,
And I have kept my faith with you
Basile Renaud!

'Stretch out thy hand, insatiate Time!
Keeper of keys, restore to me
Some gift that in the gray Earth's prime
Her happy children held of thee;

There comes a time of rest to thee,
Whose laden boughs droop heavily
Toward earth, thou golden-fruited tree!


There's a bluebird sits on the apple-tree bough,
Singing merrily and gay.
Come, little blossoms, the Spring's here now,
And the sun shines warm all day.

With eager steps I go
Across the valleys low,
Where in deep brakes the writhing serpents hiss.
Above, below, around,
I hear the dreadful sound
Of thy calm breath, eternal Nemesis!

Fair and peaceful daisies,
Smiling in the grass,
Who hath sung your praises?
Poets by you pass,
And I alone am left to celebrate your mass.

When I am a sea-flower
Under the cool green tide,
Where the sunshine slants and quivers,
And the quaint, gray fishes glide,


A silent, odor-laden air,
From heavy branches dropping balm;
A crowd of daisies milky fair,
That sunward turn their faces calm.
So rapt, a bird alone may dare
To stir their rapture with his psalm.

PUT every tiny robe away!
The stitches all were set with tears,
Slow, tender drops of joys; to-day
Their rain would wither hopes or fears:

'Tis something to have turned the tide
That ebbed and ebbed and slid away,
Till all the sands lay bare and wide,
A dreary level, bleak and gray.

Once, when the new moon glittered
So slender in the West,
I looked across my shoulder,
And a wild wish stirred my breast.

You bound and made your sport of him, Philistia!
You set your sons at him to floud and jeer;
You loaded down his limbs with heavy fetters;
Your mildest mercy was a smiling sneer.

In a gleam of sunshine a gentian stood,
Dreaming her life away,
While the leaves danced merrily through the wood,
And rode on the wind for play.

Loves serene, uncarnate Graces!
Born of pure dreams in lonely places,
Where the black untrodden earth
Rejects the dancing sunshine's mirth,

Sole she sat beside her window,
Hearing only rain-drops pour,
Looking only at the shore,
When, outside the little casement,
Weeping in a feigned abasement,
Love stood knocking
Knocking at her bolted door.

Rose Terry Cooke Biography

Rose Terry Cooke (née Terry) was an American writer born in West Hartford, Connecticut to Henry Wadsworth Terry and Anne Wright Hurlbut. She went to the Hartford Female Seminary where "For her own entertainment she wrote poems and dramas for her friends". She graduated from the seminary at age sixteen and that same year became a member of the Congregational Church and began teaching at a Presbyterian church in Burlington, New Jersey and worked as a governess for the family of clergyman William Van Rensselaer. Terry's first published poem appeared in the New York Daily Tribune in 1851 and received high praise from the editor Charles A. Dana. In 1860 she published a volume of poems, and in 1888 she published more verse with her Complete Poems. It was after her marriage in 1873 to Rollin H. Cooke that she became best known for her fresh and humorous stories. Her chief volumes of fiction dealing mainly with New England country life were Happy Dodd: or, She Hath Done What She Could (1878), Somebody's Neighbors (1881), Root-bound and Other Sketches (1885), The Sphinx's Children and Other People's (1886), No: A Story for Boys.(1886), Steadfast (1889) and Huckleberries Gathered From the New England Hills (1891). She died at Pittsfield, Massachusetts on July 18, 1892.)

The Best Poem Of Rose Terry Cooke


I watch her in the corner there,
As, restless, bold, and unafraid,
She slips and floats along the air
Till all her subtile house is made.

Her home, her bed, her daily food
All from that hidden store she draws;
She fashions it and knows it good,
By instinct's strong and sacred laws.

No tenuous threads to weave her nest,
She seeks and gathers there or here;
But spins it from her faithful breast,
Renewing still, till leaves are sere.

Then, worn with toil, and tired of life,
In vain her shining traps are set.
Her frost hath hushed the insect strife
And gilded flies her charm forget.

But swinging in the snares she spun,
She sways to every winter wind:
Her joy, her toil, her errand done,
Her corse the sport of storms unkind.

Poor sister of the spinster clan!
I too from out my store within
My daily life and living plan,
My home, my rest, my pleasure spin.

I know thy heart when heartless hands
Sweep all that hard-earned web away:
Destroy its pearled and glittering bands,
And leave thee homeless by the way.

I know thy peace when all is done.
Each anchored thread, each tiny knot,
Soft shining in the autumn sun;
A sheltered, silent, tranquil lot.

I know what thou hast never known,
-Sad presage to a soul allowed;-
That not for life I spin, alone.
But day by day I spin my shroud.

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