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Poise   /pɔɪz/   Listen
Poise

verb
(past & past part. poised; pres. part. poising)
1.
Be motionless, in suspension.
2.
Prepare (oneself) for something unpleasant or difficult.  Synonym: brace.
3.
Cause to be balanced or suspended.
4.
Hold or carry in equilibrium.  Synonym: balance.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Poise" Quotes from Famous Books



... only wring her hands in view of these blighting truths, and indulge in half-uttered complaints against her husband's "folly," as she termed it. From the first her grief had been more emotional than deep, and her mind, recovering in part its usual poise, had begun to be much occupied with preparations for a grand funeral, which was carried out to her taste. Then arose deeply interesting questions as to various styles of mourning costume, and an exciting vista of ...
— What Can She Do? • Edward Payson Roe

... elastic, her complexion had recovered some of its brilliancy; there was a light in her eyes that I had never seen there before, and about her lips a perpetual smile hovered. She was tranquil again, and self-possessed; but she was more than that—she was happy. One could see it in the very poise of her figure when ...
— Ideala • Sarah Grand

... wind was howling, too, and the storm was gathering which culminated in the series of lawsuits brought by Morse and his associates against the infringers on his patents. The letters to his brother are full of the details of these piratical attacks, but throughout all the turmoil he maintained his poise and his faith in the triumph of justice and truth. In the letter just quoted from he says: "These matters do not annoy me as formerly. I have seen so many dark storms which threatened, and particularly in relation to the Telegraph, and I have seen them so often hushed at the 'Peace, be ...
— Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals - In Two Volumes, Volume II • Samuel F. B. Morse

... countenance became still more darkly congested. Implacable prejudice glinted in his small eyes. Nor was his temper softened by the effrontery of this offender in giving back look for look with a calm poise that overshadowed his arrogance ...
— The False Faces • Vance, Louis Joseph

... be resorted to, whenever the inclination of the patient, or their probable beneficial effects may render them desirable. To dispel gloomy images, to break morbid associations, to lead the feelings into their proper current, and to restore the mind to its natural poise, various [Transcriber's note: original reads 'varius'] less active amusements will be provided. Reading, writing, drawing, innocent sports, tending and feeding domestic animals, &c. will be encouraged as they may be found conducive to the ...
— A Psychiatric Milestone - Bloomingdale Hospital Centenary, 1821-1921 • Various

... heroic by nature, and quickly recovered her poise. When she arrived at home she sent the nurse to Charles Town on an errand, then went directly to her bedroom, which was disconnected from the other rooms, and called her three devoted maids, Rebecca, ...
— The Conqueror • Gertrude Franklin Atherton

... gradations of the power of this column of air to produce the result in exquisite variations over the power and the coloring of his tones. Attack and management of the air column is an art in itself—a correct poise of the larynx. Upon the art of directing this column of air the quality of the tones depends. The greatest marvel is that those whom I have had to instruct do not know the first elements of breathing. To breathe to live and to breathe ...
— Sixty Years of California Song • Margaret Blake-Alverson

... Saint-Pol. Jehane of the Fair Girdle, the beloved of Richard Coeur de Lion, Richard Yea-and-Nay. Her eyes were gray green while yours are of the most wonderful blue, but there is something about your height and slenderness, your poise, the set of your head, the glory of your hair that suggests her. If Mother gives the fancy dress ball that she is threatening, please go as Jehane. I should ...
— Molly Brown's Orchard Home • Nell Speed

... chonta trees grew a good five miles from the windfall. Suma had covered half the distance when a sharp odor in the air caused her to stop and, standing like an exquisitely chiselled statue, with tensed muscles and alert poise, to drink deeply the scent-laden air. The vision of a peccary dinner left her instantly and her pink tongue stole out gently until it touched her moist, black nose in anticipation of a far more ...
— The Black Phantom • Leo Edward Miller

... American citizenship entirely too cheap. We permit every creature that can poise on its hind legs and call itself a man, to sway the scepter of American Sovereignty—to become an important factor in the formation of our public polity; and then, with this venal vote on the one hand, ...
— Volume 12 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... phase of her life quite as freely as she did of the fashionable Misses Cabot's school, not at all ashamed to say she could not afford this or that, simple and unaffected but self-respecting and proud; a girl who was at all times herself and retained her poise and common sense even in the presence of handsome young demigod who had made two ...
— Mary-'Gusta • Joseph C. Lincoln

... Buffalo Bill, and all his scouts; took the garrison—to the last man; and in forty-eight hours the Indian encampment was hers, illustrious old Thunder-Bird and all. Do I seem to have lost my solemnity, my gravity, my poise, my dignity? You would lose your own, in my circumstances. Mother, you never saw such a winning little devil. She is all energy, and spirit, and sunshine, and interest in everybody and everything, and pours out her prodigal love upon every creature that will take it, ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... That nodded, fearful, o'er his brow; his hand Grasp'd two stout spears, familiar to his hold. One spear Achilles had, long, pond'rous, tough; But this he touch'd not; none of all the Greeks, None, save Achilles' self, that spear could poise; The far-fam'd Pelian ash, which to his sire, On Pelion's summit fell'd, to be the bane Of mightiest chiefs, the Centaur Chiron gave. Then to Automedon he gave command To yoke the horses: him he honour'd most, Next to Achilles' self; the trustiest he In battle to await ...
— The Iliad • Homer

... made ludicrous as they are by the operators, should be condemned by all intelligent men and women, not from the danger of hypnotism itself so much as from the liability of the performers to disturb the mental poise of that large mass of ill-balanced individuals which makes up no inconsiderable part of society." In conclusion he says: "Patients have been injured by the misuse of hypnotism. * * * This is true of every remedial agent ever employed for the relief of man. Every article we eat, if wrongly prepared, ...
— Complete Hypnotism: Mesmerism, Mind-Reading and Spiritualism • A. Alpheus

... Any joy is everywhere; it is in the earth's green covering of grass; in the blue serenity of the sky; in the reckless exuberance of spring; in the severe abstinence of grey winter; in the living flesh that animates our bodily frame; in the perfect poise of the human figure, noble and upright; in living; in the exercise of all our powers; in the acquisition of knowledge; in fighting evils; in dying for gains we never can share. Joy is there everywhere; it is superfluous, ...
— Sadhana - The Realisation of Life • Rabindranath Tagore

... The anger of the heroes is plainly too great for words. How compressed the lips! How tense the attitude! The hands gripped in the angriest sort of impatience! Mark the subtle mingling of seaman and burgher in the poise and figures. Mark particularly Van Tromp's stiffened ...
— Raemaekers' Cartoons - With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers • Louis Raemaekers

... composition which each of these lines presents is the same and the principle governing the solution of each identical; balance by equalization of forces. Given a line which coincides with but one side of the picture it becomes necessary for the poise of the quadrilateral to cross it with an opposing line. The rectangular cross, though more positive and effective, is no more potential in securing this unity than the crossing of lines at a long angle. A series of right angles will in ...
— Pictorial Composition and the Critical Judgment of Pictures • Henry Rankin Poore

... almost a shock. She was quite as good-looking as he had imagined, but she was far younger—she was indeed little more than a girl. Her eyes were of a deep shade of hazel brown, her eyebrows were delicately marked, her features and poise admirable. Yet her skin was entirely colourless. She was as pale as one whose eyes have been closed in death. Her lips, although in no way highly coloured, were like streaks of scarlet blossom upon a marble image. The contrast between her appearance and that of her companion ...
— The Evil Shepherd • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... better days coming, but, self-distrust was, after her affections, her strongest point, and there is small hint of inward poise or calmness till years had passed, though she faced each change with the quiet dauntlessness that was part of her birthright. But the tragedy of their early days in the colony still shadowed her. Evidently no natural voice was allowed to speak ...
— Anne Bradstreet and Her Time • Helen Campbell

... all the beautiful women that I have seen in years, Jewish or Christian, there's not one can compare with Leah Mordecai—such hair and such eyes are seldom given to woman. Helen says that her hair measures four feet in length! What a queenly poise to that ...
— Leah Mordecai • Mrs. Belle Kendrick Abbott

... frame. Only a self-reliant girl could have moved as she moved, a girl made self-reliant by exuberant health and ideals and hope. When she stopped moving about and stood before her mirror, her hand on the great rope of shining hair that hung over her shoulder, her body assumed a rare natural poise, classically, ancestrally beautiful, Grecian. By and by she roused from the little reverie before the mirror, put out the light, and ...
— Sally of Missouri • R. E. Young

... Now he was at number one—the rattle of the iron links sounded horribly. At last number sixty! Calm from despair, Ben-Hur held his oar at poise, and gave his foot to the officer. Then the tribune ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... equal poise of hope and fear Does arbitrate the event, my nature is That I incline to hope rather than fear, And gladly banish squint suspicion. ...
— The World's Best Poetry — Volume 10 • Various

... the last I saw of her, a forlorn, pathetic figure in black, waving a farewell to me as I stood on the wharf. She wore, I remember, a low collar, and well do I mind the way it showed off the slim whiteness of her throat; well do I mind the high poise of her head, and the silken gloss of her hair. The grey eyes were clear and steady as she bade good-bye to me, and from where we stood apart, her face had all the ...
— The Trail of '98 - A Northland Romance • Robert W. Service

... confidence with which he had stated his view that the cupboard contained Fink-Nottles, it plainly disconcerted him to have the chap fizzing out at him like this. He gargled sharply, and jumped back about five feet. The next moment, however, he had recovered his poise and was galloping down the corridor in pursuit. It only needed Aunt Dahlia after them, shouting "Yoicks!" or whatever is customary on these occasions, to complete the resemblance to a brisk run with ...
— Right Ho, Jeeves • P. G. Wodehouse

... known, and he was curious. He studied her, his eyes rarely leaving her face unless to follow the movements of her hands or shoulders. I studied her myself, and though it was I who maintained the conversation, I know that I was a bit shy, not quite self-possessed. His was the perfect poise, the supreme confidence in self, which nothing could shake; and he was no more timid of a woman than he was of storm ...
— The Sea-Wolf • Jack London

... Frejus that one never sees in native regiments of the British army. The French have none of our Anglo-Saxon feeling of caste and race prejudice, which makes discipline depend upon aloofness. French officers can be severe without being stern: and they know the difference between poise and pose. We Anglo-Saxons need to revise radically our judgment of the French in regard to certain traits that are the sine qua non of military efficiency. Energy, resourcefulness, coolness, persistence, endurance, ...
— Riviera Towns • Herbert Adams Gibbons

... Annas alone was the progress of the fierce and deadly conflict written in terms of such hatred as made him appear almost inhuman. Yet the destructive force of the terrible vibration he sent out touched not the poise and calm of the Galilean, but after the law of like force it followed the arc of its own circle back into the breast ...
— The Coming of the King • Bernie Babcock

... and reasonable. He was now in a "fix," and a worse fix indeed than that in which he and Toby had found themselves on Swile Island. Charley crouched with his back to the snow-laden blasts while he tried to gather his senses and his poise, and these thoughts flashing through his mind, gave him courage. It was bitterly cold and he knew that he must soon find shelter or he would perish. In his mad panic, he had not only lost knowledge of direction, but had ...
— Left on the Labrador - A Tale of Adventure Down North • Dillon Wallace

... with her bright eyes, and O'Mally with his harmless drolleries. And no letter. It would not be true to say that he waited patiently, that he was resigned; he waited because he must wait. There had been a great shock, and she required time to recover her poise. Was there a woman in all the world like her? No. She was well worth waiting for. And so he would wait. She was free now; but would that really matter? There was no barrier; but could she love him? And might not her letter, when it did come, ...
— The Lure of the Mask • Harold MacGrath

... powerless! Ever he dares, And, daring, lands his public neck and crop. Even the many-tortured London ear, The much-enduring, loathes his Speeshul yell, His shriek of Winnur! But his dart and leer And poise are irresistible. PALL MALL Joys in him, and MILE END; for his vocation Is to purvey ...
— Hawthorn and Lavender - with Other Verses • William Ernest Henley

... march we would be caught in heavy rains. The dirt road would soon be worked into a loblolly of sticky yellow mud. Thereupon we would take off our shoes and socks, tie them to the barrel of our muskets a little below the muzzle and just above the end of the stock, poise the piece on the hammer on either shoulder, stock uppermost, and roll up our breeches to the knees. Then like Tam O'Shanter, we "skelpit on through dub and mire, despising wind, and rain, and fire," and singing "John Brown's Body," or whatever else came handy. But rainy days ...
— The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865 • Leander Stillwell

... acumen and rare versatility could not fail to impress all with whom he came in contact. His elegance of manner and diction, easy grace, with air of accustomed self-poise suggested ...
— Oswald Langdon - or, Pierre and Paul Lanier. A Romance of 1894-1898 • Carson Jay Lee

... In front of him, at a bend in an avenue, were two women's faces looking at him. One, a young lady in black, with fine irregular features and fair hair, tail, elegant, with carelessness and indifference in the poise of her head, was looking at him with kind, laughing eyes. The other, a girl of fifteen, also in deep mourning, looked as though she were going to burst out into a fit of wild laughter; she was standing a little behind her mother, ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... to quote another description, "divinely tall, with a figure of perfect symmetry, and a grace of dignity enhanced by the proud poise of the small Grecian head. Faultless also were the rounded arms and the hands, with their ...
— Love Romances of the Aristocracy • Thornton Hall

... in "composition." She was broad and ample, low-browed and large-eyed, dark and pale. Her thick brown hair hung low beside her cheek and ear, and seemed to drape her head with a covering as chaste and formal as the veil of a nun. The poise and carriage of her head were admirably free and noble, and they were the more effective that their freedom was at moments discreetly corrected by a little sanctimonious droop, which harmonised admirably with the level gaze of her dark and quiet eye. ...
— The Madonna of the Future • Henry James

... Her voyage, he assured her, had done her all the good in the world. Her delicate bloom had certainly been enhanced by it, and the graceful spring of her neck and her waist seemed to have its counterpart in a freshened poise of the agreeable things she found to say. It was delightful the way she declared herself quite a different being and the pleasure with which she moved, dragging fascinating skirts behind her, about the room. She made more of an impression upon him on the aesthetic side ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... her dropped, velvety lashes, feeling the warm strong beat of her heart against his, holding close as he did all her glowing and fragrant beauty, Warren Gregory felt it the most exquisite moment of his life. Her youth, her history, her wonderful poise and sureness so intoxicatingly linked with all a girl's unexpected shyness and adorable uncertainties, all these combined to enthrall the man who had admired her for many years and loved her ...
— The Heart of Rachael • Kathleen Norris

... sail along the skies, Or poise upon the buoyant air; And make a peasant's soul arise A ...
— The Lay of Marie • Matilda Betham

... were pressed by a railroad commission, even though such a body had but limited powers, it would, under ordinary circumstances, be honored, provided it was meritorious; and if the commission was compelled to enforce a demand through the courts, it would have the support of the State to poise the wealth ...
— The Railroad Question - A historical and practical treatise on railroads, and - remedies for their abuses • William Larrabee

... agility, for as he scrambled about the crags he seemed, she was wont to say, to climb straight out of them. The recollection of all this—the lesser and unspiritual maternal values, perchance, but essential—surged over her with bitterness; she lost her poise, and ...
— The Moonshiners At Hoho-Hebee Falls - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... if I ever touch it at all, for though all psychology is in a manner dealing with the occult, still I think I have done my duty by that side of it, as the occult is usually understood; and I am shy of its grosser instances, as things that are apt to bring one's scientific poise into question. However, you shall be the judge of what is best for you to do, when you have the whole story, and I will give it you without more ado, merely premising that I have a sort of shame for the aptness of the catastrophe. I shall respect ...
— Questionable Shapes • William Dean Howells

... of this man, beyond his reputation—something unsavoury enough, in all conscience!— had seen him only once, and then from a distance, before that conference in the rue Chaptal. And now he was becoming sensitive to a personality uncommonly insinuating: Wertheimer was displaying all the poise of an Englishman of the better caste More than anybody in the underworld that Lanyard had ever known this blackmailer had an air of one acquainted with his own respect. And his nonchalance, the good nature ...
— The Lone Wolf - A Melodrama • Louis Joseph Vance

... pushed back now, showed a broad forehead white against crisp coal-black hair and the pleasant tan of neck and cheek. But it was not his dark, forceful face alone that lent him such distinction. Rather it was the perfect poise and balance of the man, the ease and unconscious grace of every swift and sure motion. He wore a working garb now—blue overalls and a blue rowdy. But he wore them with an air that ...
— The Desire of the Moth; and The Come On • Eugene Manlove Rhodes

... his ease and in his clement. He was clearly welcome to philander. Recovering his poise at once, he began, in his finest voice, "You need not chide me. There can be no mistake on my part now. You can entangle me without fear; and I can love without hope. Ned is an unrepealed statute ...
— The Irrational Knot - Being the Second Novel of His Nonage • George Bernard Shaw

... defence. I knew that, attacked on all sides by the infernal energies of talents set in action by vice and disorder, authority could not stand upon authority alone. It wanted some other support than the poise of its own gravity. Situations formerly supported persons. It now became necessary that personal qualities should support situations. Formerly, where authority was found, wisdom and virtue were presumed. But now the veil was torn, ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... turn about being fair play, Cootes got up and gave such a representation as he was able of a pas seul. When he had done, our visitors started anew, and the gansas proving irresistible, Cootes and I joined in. The steps, poise of body, motion of the arms and hands are so marked and peculiar that a little observation and practice enabled us in a short time to produce at least a fair imitation; indeed, so successful were our efforts that we were informed we should be invited to dance on the ...
— The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon From Ifugao to Kalinga • Cornelis De Witt Willcox

... admired the height and shoulders of our first military samples. The British soldier approves of a greyhound trimness in the belt zone. He likes to look on carriage and poise. He appreciates a steady eye and stiff jaw. He is attracted by a voice that rings sharp and firm. The British soldier calls such ...
— "And they thought we wouldn't fight" • Floyd Gibbons

... giving her throat a parting squeeze, quite as much in resentment at her indomitable efforts to sound the alarm as from any policy, he left her on her back, and moved towards the bushes, his rifle at a poise, and his head over his shoulders, like a lion ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... for this Madonna is Andrea del Sarto's abominable wife, but she looks very sweet and simple in the picture. The folds of Mary's garments are beautifully painted, so is the poise of her head, and all the details of the picture except the figure of the child. There is a line of stiffness there and it lacks the softness of many other pictures of ...
— Pictures Every Child Should Know • Dolores Bacon

... of "The devil is out of Senor Don't Care!" and seeing for the thousandth time Mary's horrified face as he pressed Pedro Nogales against the hedge. Now poise was all on the side of the father, who glanced away from Jack at the glint of the library cases in the semi-darkness in satisfaction. But only a moment did the son's absent mood last. He leaned forward quivering, free from ...
— Over the Pass • Frederick Palmer

... his arms and shoulders, filled the children with envy. The wolf looked so fierce that they were afraid of him; but his brother Brutus was petted in a way to spoil any ordinary dog. Yet he kept his temper and his poise, ...
— John of the Woods • Abbie Farwell Brown

... And the poise of the man! When he lay stretched out beside me on the grass while I worked—an old bivouac attitude—he kept still; no twitching of legs or stretching of arms—lay as a big hound does, whose blood ...
— The Parthenon By Way Of Papendrecht - 1909 • F. Hopkinson Smith

... free himself,—but he was held in the grip of a madman! Then did the turbid current of his blood begin to leap and tingle, and strange half-thoughts darted through his mind like deformed spectres, capering as they flew! The bulwark of his will was overthrown; he could not poise himself long enough to recover his self-sway. He was sliding headlong down a steep, the velocity ...
— Idolatry - A Romance • Julian Hawthorne

... sea-line; long rays spread out like a sheaf of splendid swords on the blue; there is, as it were, a wild dance of colour in the noble vault, where cold green and pink and crimson wind and flush and softly glide in mystic mazes; and then—the sun! The great flaming disc seems to poise for a little, and all around it—pierced here and there by the steely rays—the clouds hang ...
— The Ethics of Drink and Other Social Questions - Joints In Our Social Armour • James Runciman

... the first frank gleam in Sophie's gray eyes that she still held for him that mysterious pulse-quickening lure, that for him her presence was sufficient to stir a glow no other woman had ever succeeded in kindling ever so briefly. But he had acquired poise, confidence, a self-mastery not to be disputed. He said to himself that he could stand the gaff now. He could face facts. And he said to himself further, a little wistfully, that Sophie Carr was worth all the pangs ...
— Burned Bridges • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... with their cream white teeth showing in smiles and their wide rolling eyes make a striking contrast to the rugged face and poise of the President.] ...
— A Man of the People - A Drama of Abraham Lincoln • Thomas Dixon

... other figure visible on deck, that of the man at the helm—a long, thin, weedy-looking figure, so far as I could make out in the ghostly starlight, but one who had evidently used the sea for some time, if one might judge by the easy, floating poise of his figure on the plunging deck as he stood on the weather side of the tiller, with the tiller rope lightly grasped in his right hand, swaying rhythmically to the leaps and plunges of the little hooker. As Dominguez ...
— A Pirate of the Caribbees • Harry Collingwood

... auditor. The thought of God's displeasure is constantly dwelt upon—the idea of guilt, death and eternal torment. If the victims can be made to indulge in hysterical laughter occasionally, the control is better brought about. No chance is allowed for repose, poise or sane consideration. When the time seems ripe a general promise of joy is made and the music takes an adagio turn. The speaker's voice now tells of triumph—offers of forgiveness are tendered, and then the promise ...
— Love, Life & Work • Elbert Hubbard

... altogether—a tall, stalwart man whose face was full of the serenity that comes from breadth and poise, but whose mind, as she herself knew well enough, was too habituated to the broad treatment of big matters to have any aptitude for repartee and chatter. She liked to disconcert him, and it was usually an easy thing to do. "And I wish, while you ...
— With the Procession • Henry B. Fuller

... the chill morning air. The hard, tight, dark eyeballs still fixed themselves on the old woman almost lifelessly, and still she sat grasping the side of the car. She had the look of a creature shot through the heart and maintaining the poise and pride of its startled and arrested life. Mechanical forces rather than volition seemed to ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... contente me? From whence commeth this new alteration, and desire vnaccustomed, for solitarie being alone, is the reste and argumente of my troubles? What diuersities and chaunges be these that in this sorte do poise and weigh my thought? Ah, Adelasia, what happie miserie dost thou finde in this free prison, where pleasure hath no place till the enemies haue disquieted the life, with a Million of painefull aud daungerous trauailes? What is this to say, but that againste the nature ...
— The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1 • William Painter

... fine poise with which she, Agatha, had held Rodney Lanyon and Harding Powell each by his own thread. Milly had compelled her to spin a stronger thread for Harding and, as it were, to multiply her threads, so as to hold him at all points. And because of this, because of giving ...
— The Flaw in the Crystal • May Sinclair

... confusion of the kind spoken of is insanity; and the hypochondriac is tracked by the black dog of his own mind. Disease itself is, of course, in one sense natural, as being the result of natural causes; but if we assume health as the mean representing the normal poise of all the mental facilities, we must be content to call hypochondria subternatural, because the tone of the instrument is lowered, and to designate as supernatural only those ecstasies in which the mind, under intense but not unhealthy ...
— Among My Books - First Series • James Russell Lowell

... in speaker or writer is a most effective tone for a large public. It gives them confidence in their man, and prevents tediousness—except to those who reflect how delicate is the poise of truth, and what steeps and pits encompass the dealer in unqualified propositions. To such persons, a writer who is trenchant in every sentence of every page, who never lapses for a line into the contingent, who marches through the intricacies of things in a blaze of certainty, ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Volume I (of 3) - Essay 4: Macaulay • John Morley

... do not, brother, Inferr, as if I thought my sisters state Secure without all doubt, or controversie: Yet where an equall poise of hope and fear 410 Does arbitrate th'event, my nature is That I encline to hope, rather then fear, And gladly banish squint suspicion. My sister is not so defenceless left As you imagine, she has a hidden ...
— The Poetical Works of John Milton • John Milton

... fatigue of the dance, and descanted on their own freedom, or otherwise, from weariness. Deleah, her face the colour of a wild rose, her loose dark hair curling crisply in the frosty air, shouted greetings to her mother as she flew past, a little erect, graceful figure keeping her elegant poise with the ease of the young and fearless. Now and again she was seen to be fleeing, laughing as she went, from the pursuit of a skater who wished to make a circuit of the flooded meadow holding Deleah's hand. The ...
— Mrs. Day's Daughters • Mary E. Mann

... oratory—strong talk, ardent, electric, manly. His eyes flashed, his teeth came together with a snap and he shook both fists under my nose. He has enthusiasm, capacity for righteous wrath, and the spirit of battle. But he doesn't lose poise ...
— Frenzied Finance - Vol. 1: The Crime of Amalgamated • Thomas W. Lawson

... 'occasions of some poise,' II. i. 122, is exactly like 'poise' in 'full of poise and difficult weight,' O. III. iii. 82, and not exactly like 'poise' in the three other places where ...
— Shakespearean Tragedy - Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth • A. C. Bradley

... blond as tow, congratulated in the liveliest fashion with the young gentleman and, interrupting the narrative at a salient point, having desired his visavis with a polite beck to have the obligingness to pass him a flagon of cordial waters at the same time by a questioning poise of the head (a whole century of polite breeding had not achieved so nice a gesture) to which was united an equivalent but contrary balance of the bottle asked the narrator as plainly as was ever done in words if he might treat him with a cup of it. Mais ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... of low waves on the beach; the other wild and heartlessly jubilant, as of the sea in the height of a tempest. Oh soul! thou then heardest life and death: as he who stands upon the Corinthian shore hears both the Ionian and the Aegean waves. The life-and-death poise soon passed; and then I found myself slowly ascending, and caught a dim ...
— White Jacket - or, the World on a Man-of-War • Herman Melville

... girls in reserve for such explosive occasions, and when the hands of any operator are seen to tremble, and she has a warning red spot on each cheek, she is taken off and given a recess until she recovers her poise. ...
— The History of the Telephone • Herbert N. Casson

... windows. She was singing alone, a wonderful thing in itself, and in her eyes was neither fear nor maidenly shrinking; she was indeed thrillingly absorbed and self-forgetful. There was something singular and arresting in the poise of her head. Her eyes seemed to look through and beyond the prison walls, far into some finer, purer land than any earthly feet had trod, and her song had a touch of genuine poetry ...
— The Eagle's Heart • Hamlin Garland

... face and locked it. I never expect to see her again; but that does not mean that I ever expect to forgive her. The next door stood open, and from within its shelter I faced about to watch for what might befall. Nothing befell except that the Germans rode slowly past me, both vigilantly keen in poise and look, both with ...
— Paths of Glory - Impressions of War Written At and Near the Front • Irvin S. Cobb

... her Grandmother Latham when I first saw her, as a girl of twenty-one can be like a woman of fifty," said Miss Lavinia, from the lounge close at my elbow. "Not in colouring or feature, but in poise and gesture. The Lathams were of Massachusetts stock, and have, I imagine, a good deal of the Plymouth Rock mixture in their back-bones. Her father has the reputation, in fact, of being all rock, if not quite of the Plymouth variety. Well, I think she will need it, poor child; that is, if any of ...
— People of the Whirlpool • Mabel Osgood Wright

... of life, they lost its decencies. Henley attempted to poise himself against the University; Hill against the Royal Society. Rejected by these learned bodies, both these Cains of literature, amid their luxuriant ridicule of eminent men, still evince some claims to rank among them. The one prostituted his genius in his "Lectures;" the other, in ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... was unfavourable, but that vanished instantly under the charm of a manner so graceful and vivacious, that in a moment I seemed to be standing in a brilliant Parisian salon rather than in the sombre drawing-room of an English country house. Every poise of her dainty head; every gesture of those small, perfect hands; every modulated tone of the voice, whether sparkling with laughter or caressing in confidential speech, reminded me of the grandes ...
— The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont • Robert Barr

... was, there was nothing of the distracted or the inadequate about her. Hastings, who had admired her earlier in the evening, saw that her poise was far from overthrown. It seemed to him that she even had considered how to wear with extraordinary effect the brilliant, vari-coloured kimono draped about her. The only criticism of her possible was that, perhaps, she seemed ...
— No Clue - A Mystery Story • James Hay

... throwing is with the left foot forward, the leg perfectly straight, body well back, its weight resting on the right leg. Now extend the left arm forward, in a line with the shoulder, and over the left leg; poise the spear horizontally in the right hand, holding at the centre of gravity by the forefinger and thumb. Bring the right arm backward until the hand is ...
— Boy Scouts Handbook - The First Edition, 1911 • Boy Scouts of America

... Peyster must have heard, for she turned slowly about and gazed at Olivetta—gazed at her steadily. And gradually, as she gazed, her whole appearance changed. The consternation on her face was succeeded by calm resolution. Poise and ...
— No. 13 Washington Square • Leroy Scott

... mental poise and put the hateful memories away from her as she went steadily up the narrow stairs and along the hall with its curious slant as the house had settled, to her own room ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1902 to 1903 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... Himalaya I have watched an eagle circling overhead. I have sat on the mountain-side and watched it sail majestically along in graceful curves and circles, and with perfect ease and poise. Far above the earth it would range, and seemingly without exertion glide easily over tracts that we poor men could only enter by prodigious effort. Captivated by its grace of motion, and jealous of its freedom, I would for hours watch it. And this eagle I knew, from ...
— The Heart of Nature - or, The Quest for Natural Beauty • Francis Younghusband

... bring his right foot forward: this is the position which he should assume to strike; he may, however, reverse the position of his feet. When the principal removes his upper garments, the second must poise his sword: when the principal reaches out his hand to draw the tray towards him, as he leans his head forward a little, is the exact moment for the second to strike. There are all sorts of traditions about this. Some say that the principal should take the tray and raise it respectfully ...
— Tales of Old Japan • Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford

... Get them, and we'll catch the first train back. Mrs. Bawdrey, my best respects. Captain, all good luck to you," said Cleek—and swung out into the darkness and the moist, warm fragrance of the night; his mental poise a bit unsteady, his nerves raw. It was not in him to have stopped longer, to have remained under the same roof with a monster like young Bawdrey and ...
— Cleek: the Man of the Forty Faces • Thomas W. Hanshew

... her purple traffic Strews the landing with opal bales; Merchantmen poise upon horizons, Dip, and vanish ...
— Poems: Three Series, Complete • Emily Dickinson

... it was a very curious experiment to poise a needle so, upon a piece of cork,—even without the magnetism. And he watched it as it slowly moved about, with a face full of interest ...
— Rollo's Experiments • Jacob Abbott

... of quantity or degree.] Equality — N. equality, parity, coextension^, symmetry, balance, poise; evenness, monotony, level. equivalence; equipollence^, equipoise, equilibrium, equiponderance^; par, quits, a wash; not a pin to choose; distinction without a difference, six of one and half a dozen of the other; tweedle dee and tweedle dum [Lat.]; identity &c 13; similarity &c 17. equalization, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... slipping out from the fluffy braids which bound her head. She surely was fair to look upon, and when Steve had assisted her to mount in the old way,—holding out his hand and she stepping upon it in laughing ease,—she sat her pony with the graceful poise of the true Kentucky girl, making a picture which less partial observers than Steve could not have failed to find full of charm. They cantered off briskly down ...
— The Boy from Hollow Hut - A Story of the Kentucky Mountains • Isla May Mullins

... Coming of notedly powerful stock on both sides, and having been physically educated from babyhood, Dam, with clean living and constant training, was a very uncommon specimen. There may have been one or two other men in the regiment as well developed, or nearly so; but when poise, rapidity, and skill were taken into account there was no one near him. Captain Chevalier said he was infinitely the quickest heavy-weight boxer he had ever seen—and Captain Chevalier was a pillar of the National Sporting Club and always knew the current ...
— Snake and Sword - A Novel • Percival Christopher Wren

... a shining roseate creature. Always beautiful, always exquisite—flawless features, perfect poise, now she pulsated with life. A new brightness glowed in her eyes. Of late across her cheeks color was wont to come and go like the shadow of clouds on a hillside on a windy day. Even her voice, usually steady and controlled, now and again trembled and broke with sudden emotion. She ...
— The Fifth Wheel - A Novel • Olive Higgins Prouty

... sure how long he clung there, but his white face and the poise of his strung-up figure impressed themselves indelibly on her memory. Strain was expressed in every line of his body and in his clutching hands. Then the strength and decision that was in her asserted itself, and she overcame the numbing horror that had held her powerless. Snatching ...
— The Gold Trail • Harold Bindloss

... opportunities while they lasted. For the time and in that place there were terrorists: he made no confession of faith, avoided all snares, and served his adopted country as she was in fact with little reference to political shibboleths. He so served her then and henceforth that until he lost both his poise and his indispensable power, she laid herself at his feet and adored him. Whatever the ties which bound them at first, the ascendancy of Buonaparte over the young Robespierre was thorough in the end. His were the suggestions and the enterprises, ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. I. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... and were soon under his sway, watching his every gesture and thawing under his spell, as they watched the fine head thrown back with its inimitable poise, the back straight and stiff, the eyes aglow with the light of the seer, and the hands gracefully rising and falling to emphasize ...
— The Underworld - The Story of Robert Sinclair, Miner • James C. Welsh

... scientist, no discoverer, no leader of expeditions have ever borne into the light. No footprints along the trail can spell out for us his majestic mien, his stolid dignity, his triumphant courage, his inscrutable self-poise, and all of these dyed with a blood-red struggle for survival such as crowns no other page of ...
— The Vanishing Race • Dr. Joseph Kossuth Dixon

... the desert. The madness of the night before had lifted a little, leaving Rhoda with some of her old poise. After several attempts she rose and made her staggering way ...
— The Heart of the Desert - Kut-Le of the Desert • Honore Willsie Morrow

... were as softly brown, her hair as abundant, her cheek as clear and delicately moulded as ever, but there was no one to assure her that the early bloom had not passed away, and that she had not rather gained than lost in dignity of bearing and the stately poise of the head, which the jealous damsels called Court airs. "And should he be disappointed, I shall see it in his eyes," she said to herself, "and then his promise shall not bind him, though it will break my heart, ...
— A Reputed Changeling • Charlotte M. Yonge

... made him company commander, without insignia or official position. In rank, he was only a "gob" like the rest of them. In influence a captain. Moran knew how to put the weight lunge behind the bayonet. It was a matter of balance, of poise, more than ...
— Cheerful—By Request • Edna Ferber

... gray Mennonite dress and stiff black silk bonnet was, as usual, an attractive figure. Philip, grown to the dignity of long trousers, carried himself with all the poise of seventeen. He was now a student in the Lancaster High School and had he not learned to dress and act like city boys do! Uncle Amos, in his best Sunday suit of gray, his Mennonite hat in his hand, ambled along ...
— Amanda - A Daughter of the Mennonites • Anna Balmer Myers

... his poise with one-half of his brain still given over to the hand he meant to play with Poker Face, merely sighed ...
— Judith of Blue Lake Ranch • Jackson Gregory

... circus to hear clowns, and see rare feats of horsemanship; but a bird may poise beneath the very sun, or flying downward, swoop from the high heaven; then flit with graceful ease hither and thither, pouring liquid song as if it were a perennial fountain of sound—no man cares ...
— Choice Specimens of American Literature, And Literary Reader - Being Selections from the Chief American Writers • Benj. N. Martin

... hair. She had a long throat apparently, but although she had dropped her wrap over the back of the seat he had no more than a glimpse of a white neck and a suggestion of sloping shoulders. Rather rare those, nowadays. They reminded him, together with the haughty poise of the head, of the family portraits in the old gallery at home. Being dark himself, he admired fair women, although since they had taken to bobbing their hair they looked as much alike as magazine covers. This woman wore her hair in no particular fashion. It was soft and abundant, brushed ...
— Black Oxen • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... Her ear is as carefully attuned to the correct balance of words as that of a skilled musician to harmony in music. She will detect instantly a weak spot in a sentence or a paragraph and never fail to suggest the exact word or phrase needed to give it poise and strength. ...
— The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony (Volume 1 of 2) • Ida Husted Harper

... school; and all the time it was maintained at the lofty level of classic grace. It would be impossible to overstate the excellence of all that McCullough did and said, in the forum scene—the noble severity of the poise, the grace of the outlines, the terrible intensity of the mood, the heartrending play of the emotions, the overwhelming delirium of the climax. Throughout the subsequent most difficult portraiture of shattered reason ...
— Shadows of the Stage • William Winter

... limits. It was here that I first observed the manner in which fishes die. As soon as the creature sickens, the head sinks lower and lower, and it stands as it were on its head; till, getting weaker, and losing all poise, the tail turns over, and at last it floats on the surface of the water with its belly uppermost. The reason why fishes, when dead, swim in that manner is very obvious; because, when the body is no longer balanced ...
— The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 2 • Gilbert White

... which the camera has played means more and more as I still watch your picture, for there is present in that light not only blessedness, but holiness as well. The lightness of your movement and of your poise (as though you were blown like a blossom along the tops of the grass) is shone through, and your face, especially its ready and wondering laughter, is inspired, as though the Light had filled it from within; so that, looking thus, I look ...
— On Something • H. Belloc

... shake the hands of this strange couple. The Leopard Woman carried herself with the ease and poise of one accustomed to receiving homage. She had drawn near Kingozi again, and managed to reach out and ...
— The Leopard Woman • Stewart Edward White et al

... quickly the trick that all trained seals know—that of balancing a ball on the nose. But for a seal that is not much of a feat after the experience of keeping themselves constantly in poise amidst the rolling breakers and surging swells. I taught him to rise on his flippers and march, also to turn to right or ...
— The Junior Classics Volume 8 - Animal and Nature Stories • Selected and arranged by William Patten

... a mental balance, but this was one of the exceptions to a rule of conduct where poise was essential. His eyes half-closed in their clash with the coldly antagonistic orbs of his host. His instinctive dislike of the man flamed into open anger and he controlled himself with ...
— Midnight • Octavus Roy Cohen

... moment she hesitated, and then, from sheer loss of poise, reached out her hand. The dancing eyes of the cavalier lit with all the ...
— The Maid of the Whispering Hills • Vingie E. Roe

... squatter woman. She was no longer the red-haired tatterdemalion who had romped over the rocks and quarreled with the boys of the Silent City. Her tom-boy days, amid the ceaseless struggles against the hardships of the Storm Country, gave to her slender body strength and lent to it poise and grace. Bright brown eyes lighted by loving intelligence illumined her face, tanned by sun and wind, but very sweet and winsome, especially when the curving red lips melted into a smile. A profusion of burnished red curls, falling ...
— The Secret of the Storm Country • Grace Miller White

... trumpet's sound, and loudest noise Of martial drums, increase their joys; Not by compulsion led, but choice, And bold to fight, Their Country's cause in mind they poise; War! ...
— Translations of German Poetry in American Magazines 1741-1810 • Edward Ziegler Davis

... and getting more and more over with far less effort, and giving us no end of encouragement, as he at length reached the rocks, tumbled the load off his head—the load which had never seemed once to lose its poise—and finally we could see him seated facing us wiping his hot face with the front ...
— To The West • George Manville Fenn

... which is careless of opinion. Throughout, we see in his kindly nature a longing for sympathy: if from those intellectually strong, so much the better; if from dear friends, better yet; if from casual acquaintances, still it is good and serviceable to him, and helps him to keep his poise. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 80, June, 1864 • Various

... had tightened into a strange pent stillness like the poise of earth and sky and beast and bird just before the breaking of a great and lowering storm. The quick clatter of the ducks' wings somehow alarmed me—the staring of the children, their eyes directed past us, sharpened my senses for a new focus. And glancing, I witnessed Daniel nearing—striding ...
— Desert Dust • Edwin L. Sabin

... the moon, and stars, as profane spectra:—a company of the blind, beseeching those they lead to remain blind also. "The heavens and the lights that rule them are untrue; the laws of creation are treacherous; the poles of the earth are out of poise. But we are true. Light is in us only. Shut your eyes close and fast, and we ...
— Time and Tide by Weare and Tyne - Twenty-five Letters to a Working Man of Sunderland on the Laws of Work • John Ruskin

... up and down the river, Sewall's nephew, Will Dow, was possibly the one who had the rarest qualities of intellect and spirit. He had a poise and a winsome lovableness that was not often found in that wild bit of country combined with such ruggedness of character. He had a droll and altogether original sense of humor, and an imagination which struck Roosevelt as extraordinary in its scope ...
— Roosevelt in the Bad Lands • Hermann Hagedorn

... the one-step. There was less abandon and more art. The first dance had expressed a primitive emotion; the present slow and measured whirl a discriminating sensation. And slowly, under the spell of Stillman's calm and yet strangely glowing manner, Claire recovered her poise. All night she had been inhaling every fresh delight rapturously with the closed eyes and open senses that one brings to the enjoyment of blossoms heavy with perfume. It took Stillman's influence to rob the hours of their swooning delight ...
— The Blood Red Dawn • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... beautiful circumstances of Palestine travelling—by the clime, and the land, and the name of the land, with all its mighty import; by the glittering freshness of the sward, and the abounding masses of flowers that furnished my sumptuous pathway; by the bracing and fragrant air that seemed to poise me in my saddle, and to lift me along as a planet appointed ...
— Eothen • A. W. Kinglake

... the entrance porch, a woman came out of the house, and instantly the big, appraising eyes of the little newcomer felt that here was a type unknown to her. She was slender, not very tall, but with a poise and dignity of manner that compelled attention. Her eyes were gray; her lashes, brows and hair quite dark. There was a serenity and repose of manner about her—the Madonna expression of gentleness—but with ...
— Penny of Top Hill Trail • Belle Kanaris Maniates

... suddenly—whether she was amazed or not—whether she was at all taken by surprise or not, could not appear in any way from her action or her demeanor. In the face of so terrible a crisis, whose full meaning and import she must have felt profoundly, she stood there, calm and self-contained, with the self-poise of one who has been long prepared, and who, when the hour big with fate at last may come, is not overwhelmed, but rises with the occasion, goes forth to the encounter, and prepares ...
— The Cryptogram - A Novel • James De Mille

... the harbor of Havana on a mission of international courtesy and good will—a catastrophe the suspicious nature and horror of which stirred the nation's heart profoundly. It is a striking evidence of the poise and sturdy good sense distinguishing our national character that this shocking blow, falling upon a generous people already deeply touched by preceding events in Cuba, did not move them to an instant desperate resolve to ...
— Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents • William McKinley

... deeply felt Than one soft motion of the slender frame, One gentle murmur from the tiny throat. The wife more bold, yet pausing oft to scan Her lord, adventurous strayed with timid steps, Unconscious all of aught to mar their joys. Just then with steady poise on outstretched wing A hungry falcon hovered over her, Resolved with one fell swoop to seize his prey, His talons bury in her tender flesh, Lift her away to some sequestered spot, There drink her blood in leisure undisturbed, And break her bones and her torn ...
— Tales of Ind - And Other Poems • T. Ramakrishna

... Midwestern state senator. He is not of the city from which Morton College rises, but of a more country community farther in-state. FELIX FEJEVARY, now nearing the age of his father in the first act, is an American of the more sophisticated type—prosperous, having the poise of success in affairs and ...
— Plays • Susan Glaspell

... young eagle in what nest you will, The cry and swoop of eagles overhead Vibrate prophetic in its kindred frame, And make it spread its wings and poise itself For ...
— The Madigans • Miriam Michelson

... Vanderpole strolled into the room and, after a casual glance around, approached his chair and touched him on the shoulder. In his evening clothes the newcomer was no longer obtrusively American. He was dressed in severely English fashion, from the cut of his white waistcoat to the admirable poise of his white tie. He smiled as he patted Coulson upon ...
— The Illustrious Prince • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... miniatures on ivory. One was the same sweet face that looked out at him from each of the photographs, the other was his father's. It showed a handsome young fellow with strong, clean-shaven face, with eyes like Keith's, and the same lordly poise of the fine head ...
— Two Little Knights of Kentucky • Annie Fellows Johnston

... her he had mentally tabulated her age as twenty-eight—no older. Her beauty alone, the purity of her eyes, the freshness of her lips, and the slender girlishness of her figure, might have made him say twenty, but with those things he had found the maturer poise of the woman. It had been a flashlight picture, but one that he was ...
— The Hunted Woman • James Oliver Curwood



Words linked to "Poise" :   equilibrise, unit of viscosity, ready, equanimity, position, gear up, juggle, fix, hover, equilibrate, carry, pose, set up, equilibrium, equilibrize, sang-froid, place, nerve, steel, assuredness, lay, set, aplomb, calmness, hold, put, brace, prepare, composure, bear, calm



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