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Poised   /pɔɪzd/   Listen
Poised

adjective
1.
Marked by balance or equilibrium and readiness for action.  "George's poised hammer"
2.
In full control of your faculties.  Synonyms: collected, equanimous, self-collected, self-contained, self-possessed.  "Perfectly poised and sure of himself" , "More self-contained and more dependable than many of the early frontiersmen" , "Strong and self-possessed in the face of trouble"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Poised" Quotes from Famous Books



... seen grandly floating on the air, or poised ready to strike a defenceless animal or crippled bird. The buzzard, of loathsome aspect, perched upon a blasted tree, waits for his gorged appetite to sharpen, that he may descend and fatten upon some putrid carcase. The river, narrow and tortuous, rolls its black ...
— Nick Baba's Last Drink and Other Sketches • George P. Goff

... But he had given more than pictures to the world. He had given himself in a crusade which had been born of high idealism and a sense of brotherhood. Day after day, night after night, his plane had hung, poised like an eagle, above the enemy. He had been one of the young gods who had set their strength and courage against the greed and grossness of ...
— The Trumpeter Swan • Temple Bailey

... Yet, with that instinct for the essential and vital which invariably possessed him, he gained a keen impression of it. It was of a delicately haggard child with a marvelously agreeable smile, a fine, high-poised head upon a thin neck, and an air of bored superiority. Combined with this was a touch of weariness about the eyelids which drooped in a lofty way. Cowperwood was fascinated. Because of the daughter he professed an interest in the mother, which he ...
— The Titan • Theodore Dreiser

... let your fire go out," said the colonel briskly. He had invaded the sitting-room at an unaccustomed hour, finding the lady at her letters as usual. She turned and held her pen poised above her paper as she ...
— The Desert and The Sown • Mary Hallock Foote

... upon two low wooden sidewalk steps stood Mrs. Riley, clad in a crisp black and white calico, a heavy, fat babe poised easily in one arm. The Doctor turned directly toward the narrow alley, merely touching his hat to her as he pushed its small green door inward, and disappeared, while she lifted her chin at the silent liberty ...
— Dr. Sevier • George W. Cable

... "Miss Benham is—" He hung poised so for a moment, searching, as it were, for words of sufficient splendor, but in the end he shook his head and the gleam faded from his eyes. He sank back in his chair, sighing. "Miss Benham," ...
— Jason • Justus Miles Forman

... with water, came quickly out of the basin in Anna-Rose's clenched fist. For one awful instant she stood there in her nightgown, like some bird of judgment poised for dreadful flight, her eyes flaming, her knotted pigtails bristling on ...
— Christopher and Columbus • Countess Elizabeth Von Arnim

... into the snow, and turned to admire the vast panorama at her feet. Her husband was making the ascent at a slower pace, looking up to admire the boldness of the little woman, and then playfully scolding her as she stood poised in mid-air so far above him. Aware of her danger, and fearing to startle her, the guide had ascended, and now stood with the husband on a little ledge quite underneath the cliff on which ...
— Scenes in Switzerland • American Tract Society

... summonsing her. But such she heeds not. Uphill and downhill, through traffic that might tax the ingenuity of a cat, over road surfaces calculated to break the average steam roller she passes, a vision of idle loveliness; her fair hair streaming to the wind, her sylph-like form poised airily, one foot upon the saddle, the other resting lightly upon the lamp. Sometimes she condescends to sit down on the saddle; then she puts her feet on the rests, lights a cigarette, and waves above her head ...
— Three Men on the Bummel • Jerome K. Jerome

... awful figures! Resting on nothing; poised in the night air of the tower, with their draped and hooded heads merged in the dim roof; motionless and shadowy. Shadowy and dark, although he saw them by some light belonging to themselves—none else was there—each with its muffled hand ...
— The Chimes • Charles Dickens

... larger than he really was. The scattered gleams and slant rays of sunshine that played around the spot invested him as with a supernatural halo, while a bright glow of light on the cliff behind detached him prominently from the surrounding shadows. He poised a spear in his right hand, and, while Edith gazed at him in terror, the weapon flew whistling through the air and was buried in the side of the wolf. But so close did the spear pass, that Edith involuntarily stepped back as she heard it whiz. In doing so she lost her balance ...
— Ungava • R.M. Ballantyne

... as in Blake, literally unconscious, and wavering on every breath of that unseen wind on which it floats to us; it is faultless; it is itself the wind which directs it, it steers its way on the wind, like a seagull poised between sky and sea, and turning on its wings ...
— Poems of Coleridge • Coleridge, ed Arthur Symons

... almost abreast, so that none could tell which was the gainer, Milanion obeyed the bidding of Aphrodite and let fall one of the golden apples. Never before had Atalanta dreamed of such a thing—an apple of glistening gold! She stopped, poised on one foot as a flying bird poises for a moment on the wing, and picked up the treasure. But Milanion had sped several paces ahead ere she was again abreast of him, and even as she gained on him, he dropped the second apple. Again Atalanta was tempted. Again ...
— A Book of Myths • Jean Lang

... negroes were supporting his opponent; but the girl's little head could not gather up and comprehend all that such a condition of things meant. She supposed that a sort of disgrace would attach to defeat, and she clasped her hands and poised her winsome body melodramatically when she asked herself which she would rather the defeat would fall upon, her father or Tom. She leaned out of the window and saw Colonel Sommerton walking down the road towards town, with his cigar elevated at an acute ...
— Southern Lights and Shadows • Edited by William Dean Howells & Henry Mills Alden

... was banished to her own room for the remainder of the day. Arthur believed her innocent; Uncle Tom believed her innocent, and Rachel believed her innocent, which last fact was proved by the generous piece of custard pie hoisted to her window in a small tin pail, said pail being poised upon the prongs of a long pitch-fork. The act of thoughtful kindness touched a tender chord in Edith's heart, and the pie choked her badly, but she managed to eat it all save the crust, which she tossed into the grass, laughing to see how near it came to hitting Mrs. ...
— Darkness and Daylight • Mary J. Holmes

... how stupid a clever man can contrive to be when he is taken out of his sphere. For such men there is no safety save in keeping out of debt, and once the balance was on the wrong side of his account, Fenton, self-poised as he was, lost his head. It troubled and worried him to be in debt even when he could see his way clear to paying everything, and now that matters began to get too complicated to be settled by plain and obvious ...
— The Philistines • Arlo Bates

... pleading, 'Soon must they restore The enduring maid, whose kinsmen vex her sore!' To-day shall Zeus perform his will. The noble cause wins my prophetic skill. Oh! had I wings, and like a storm-swift dove Poised on some aery cloud might there descry The conflict from above, Scouring the ...
— The Seven Plays in English Verse • Sophocles

... the youth paused the savage stopped also, and more than once he poised his deadly spear, while his glaring eyeballs shone amid the green foliage like those of a tiger. Yet upon each occasion he exhibited signs of hesitation, and finally lowered the weapon, and crouched into ...
— Gascoyne, The Sandal Wood Trader - A Tale of the Pacific • R. M. Ballantyne

... brown hair, which hung in two long tresses behind her. A short poppy-colored skirt, with a tightly-laced bodice, completed her costume. She was a young peasant, who was rapidly descending the sandy path down the side of Bigelberg, a basket poised on her head, and her arms a little sunburned, but plump, were ...
— International Short Stories: French • Various

... in on all sides, looking the worst it could, and began to pass them around. The conversation had been brilliantly animated up to that moment—but now a frost fell upon the company. That is to say, not all of a sudden, but the frost fell upon each man as he took up a cigar and held it poised in the air—and there, in the middle, his sentence broke off. That kind of thing went on all around the table, until when George had completed his crime the whole place was full of a thick solemnity ...
— Chapters from My Autobiography • Mark Twain

... Helen in passing, and then he began to ascend to his high platform. When he reached it and stood poised ready for his act, there came a shrill whistle from Jim Tracy, the ringmaster, who wore his usual immaculate shirt front and black evening clothes—rather incongruous ...
— Joe Strong The Boy Fire-Eater - The Most Dangerous Performance on Record • Vance Barnum

... lances poised, for about ten minutes, when a general officer with dragoon escort came galloping down the road and through the meadow toward McDunn's battery. It was Claymore, their general ...
— Ailsa Paige • Robert W. Chambers

... crept through the trees until he was directly over the deer. In the ape-man's right hand was the long hunting knife of his father and in his heart the blood lust of the carnivore. Just for an instant he poised above the unsuspecting Bara and then he launched himself downward upon the sleek back. The impact of his weight carried the deer to its knees and before the animal could regain its feet the knife had ...
— Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... glow of it illuminated his face, which was stained with powder smoke and blackened by the flames. His eyes shone joyously, and a laugh of defiance and recklessness was on his lips as he swung the poised keg aloft. ...
— Kid Wolf of Texas - A Western Story • Ward M. Stevens

... stooped and picked up a piece of rock weighing quite a hundredweight, poised it in his hands for a moment or two, and then, with a wonderful display of strength, tossed it from him right over the middle of the disused mine-shaft. The mica flashed in the sun for a moment, and then the great piece plunged down into the darkness, Josh and Will involuntarily ...
— Menhardoc • George Manville Fenn

... forty-eight, of an ample though still beautiful figure. Her flowing dress of white brocade made no attempt to compress, to sustain or to attenuate. No one could say that a woman who stood as she did, with the port of a goddess—the small head majestically poised over such shoulders and such a breast—was getting fat; yet no one could deny that there was redundancy. She was not redundant as other women were; she was not elegant as other women were; she seemed in nothing ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... he looked on the novelties scattered about without betraying surprise. By his gestures they inferred that he discharged them from their trespass. He then turned towards the woods, and when they attempted to follow, he placed himself in the attitude of menace, and poised his spear. ...
— The History of Tasmania , Volume II (of 2) • John West

... them in his power. Determined to do this, he wound his form stealthily upward, and from his right hand he cast forth huge plumes and columns of smoke, which began to overspread the sky, and traveling swiftly, came on and on as his hand directed them, until they hung poised far above the heads of the unsuspecting ...
— The Shadow Witch • Gertrude Crownfield

... lad's eyes roved about and he saw, sitting in a natural niche of the stone, not far from him, a greasy Indian, who held his hand poised to toss another stone ...
— The Boy Ranchers Among the Indians - or, Trailing the Yaquis • Willard F. Baker

... measures, which led her sometimes further than she wanted to go, Eleanor kept a very steady way, as graceful as it was steady. So friendly and frank as to give no cause of umbrage; while it was so cool and self-poised as to make Mr. Carlisle very uneasy and very desperate. It was just the manner he admired in a woman; just what he would like to see in his wife, towards all the rest of the world. Eleanor charmed him more by her high-bred distance, than ...
— The Old Helmet, Volume II • Susan Warner

... him; the feeble mind of the monarch had bowed before the strong intellect of the minister; the sovereign could not contend against the statesman; the crown of France rested upon the brows of the one, but her destinies were poised in the hand of the other; and the strength of Richelieu grew out of the ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... in the kitchen wants to make cookies—as well as eat them; longs to print little figures around the pies, and then hold the plate on poised spread fingers and trim off that long broken ribbon of superfluous pastry—wants to do things, as well as to have things. The one instinct is ...
— The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910) • Charlotte Perkins Gilman

... one done so, he would have seen the perspiration break upon the musician's forehead. The piano purred its accompaniment. Then, in the middle of the phrase, the master lifted his hands and held them poised above the instrument. John had to sing three notes unsupported. He was smiling and staring at Desmond. The first note came like a question from the heart of a child; the second, higher up, might ...
— The Hill - A Romance of Friendship • Horace Annesley Vachell

... from the table and handed it to him. He adjusted it and already held it poised for the thrust which was not to cure ...
— The Romance of Elaine • Arthur B. Reeve

... been moving about incessantly," he remarked, as he poised his wine-glass in his hand, regarding the colour of its contents. "I was in Petersburg three weeks ago. I'm interested in some telegraph construction works there. We've just secured a big Government contract to lay a ...
— Hushed Up - A Mystery of London • William Le Queux

... of flowers in full bloom, over which darted and poised a pair of humming birds. The flowers were not attractive to the eye or of pleasant odor; but the long corollas held a pungent, honeyed sweetness that attracted the birds and many insects. Its technical name was Agave Americana. The seed had been brought from Mexico by the former owner of the ...
— Chit-Chat; Nirvana; The Searchlight • Mathew Joseph Holt

... Still the chief poised and waited until the exact spot he wished to strike was exposed as the whale rolled slowly toward the right. Then suddenly, with a sighing hiss of his breath, the dark huntsman leaned swiftly forward. The motion of his hand was so swift the eye ...
— The Young Alaskans • Emerson Hough

... made a cudgel, about ... yes, of this size (showing his arm); not so thick at one end as at the other, but fitter, I imagine, than thirty switches to belabour the shoulders withal; for it is well poised, ...
— The Blunderer • Moliere

... sank upon the field, As the tall trees, that felt the blast Of Garud's wing, to earth were cast. The giants left unslaughtered there Where filled with terror and despair, And to their leader Khara fled Faint, wounded, and discomfited. These fiery Dushan strove to cheer, And poised his bow to calm their fear; Then fierce as He who rules the dead, When wroth, on angered Rama sped. By Dushan cheered, the demons cast Their dread aside and rallied fast With Sals, rocks, palm-trees in their hands With nooses, maces, pikes, ...
— The Ramayana • VALMIKI

... that nature was against us. The bulging half-Earth[1] hung poised near the zenith over our little crater. Its rotation through the hours was clearly visible. We timed our signals when the western hemisphere was facing us. But nature was against us. No clouds, no faintest hint of mist could fog the airless Lunar surface. But there were continuous clouds ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, May, 1930 • Various

... screeched. As he passed the Russian he seized the latter by the collar, swung him and threw him bodily toward old Hector, who received him greedily and drew him to his heart. The terrible O'Leary then stood over the battling pair, his ax poised, the while he hurled insult and anathema at the knee-bolters. A very large percentage of knee-bolters and shingle weavers are members of the I.W.W. and knowing this, Mr. O'Leary begged in dulcet tones, to be ...
— Kindred of the Dust • Peter B. Kyne

... women in the American literature of the century. Miss Woolson spent the latter years of her life in Europe, changing her residence frequently. Gracefully impulsive and independent, she had a gypsy instinct for the roving life of liberty out-of-doors; yet in character and demeanor she was so serenely poised, so self-contained, with such inviolable reserve and dignity, that she was, as Stedman put ...
— The Story of Cooperstown • Ralph Birdsall

... destruction as a spectator in a traveling Time Observatory was like watching a cobra poised to strike from behind a pane of crystal-bright glass in ...
— The Man from Time • Frank Belknap Long

... time noiselessly with her thin, upraised hand, her head resting quietly, a clear, silvery note—clear as a bird's—leaped from Nathan's flute, soared higher and higher, trembled like a lark poised in air, and died away in tones of such exquisite sweetness that she turned her head in delight toward the group about the piano, fixing her gaze on Nathan. The old man's eyes were riveted on the score, his ...
— The Fortunes of Oliver Horn • F. Hopkinson Smith

... Massachusetts? And his all-accomplished rival and adversary, Alexander Hamilton,—is he not substantially the same at twenty-five as at forty-five? Though he has not yet imprinted his mind on the constitution and practical working of the government, the qualities are still there:—the poised nature whose vigor is almost hidden in its harmony; the power of infusing into other minds ideas which they seem to originate; the wisdom, the moderation, the self-command, the deep thought which explores principles, the comprehensive thought which regards relations, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 93, July, 1865 • Various

... beautiful photograph showing M 8 and the trifid nebula on the same plate, and he remarks that the former is a far more remarkable object than its more famous neighbor. Near the eastern border of the principal nebulous cloud there is a small and very black hole with a star poised on its eastern edge. This hole and the star are clearly shown ...
— Pleasures of the telescope • Garrett Serviss

... was the carriage poised, that only a little strength was needed to send it either way. But Joe and Blake pulled it back on the unwrecked portion of the ...
— The Moving Picture Boys at Panama - Stirring Adventures Along the Great Canal • Victor Appleton

... poised for flight, yet constrained by a desire to return again to the settle. Her color was still high, her eyes were sparkling, she was ...
— The Paternoster Ruby • Charles Edmonds Walk

... Poised on one foot, Jack stood motionless in some dismay. The entrance to the cave was suddenly darkened. A great heavy body dropped through. The mother ocelot landed on four feet on the cave floor with ...
— Jack North's Treasure Hunt - Daring Adventures in South America • Roy Rockwood

... peavey one of the timbermen had left on this bank and was using is as a staff as she watched the "freshet" start. Warned now of the danger she was in, the girl of the Red Mill seized this staff firmly in both hands and poised herself to leap from the boulder to ...
— Ruth Fielding in the Great Northwest - Or, The Indian Girl Star of the Movies • Alice B. Emerson

... things about his person were always as fine and immaculate as though he were a gentleman of some fortune, his linen and his shoes. But in addition to such slight externals Donaldson, although not a large man, had good shoulders, a well-poised head, and walked with an Indian stride from the hips that made him noticeable among the flat-footed native New Yorkers. He might have been mistaken for an ambitious actor of the younger school; even for a forceful young ...
— The Seventh Noon • Frederick Orin Bartlett

... came to the end of the extension arm of the cantilever and out upon the uncompleted first section of the central, or suspension, span. It was poised high in space, far out over the dizzy abyss. Many yards away, across a yawning gap, the completed north third of the suspension span reached out, above the gulf, from the tip of the north cantilever, like the arm of a Titan straining to clasp hands with his ...
— Out of the Primitive • Robert Ames Bennet

... north flank of Tukcham along a watercourse, by the side of which were immense slips of rocks and snow-beds; the mountain-side being excessively steep. Some of the masses of gneiss thus brought down were dangerously poised on slopes of soft shingle, and daily moved a little downwards. All the rocks were gneiss and granite, with radiating crystals of tourmaline as thick as the thumb. Below 12,000 to 13,000 feet the mountain-sides were covered with a dense ...
— Himalayan Journals (Complete) • J. D. Hooker

... the streets. Bonfires were blazing everywhere, at which the people roasted "geese, pigs, capons, partridges, and chickens," while upon all sides were the merriest piping and dancing. Of a sudden, a fiery dragon was seen flying through the air. It poised for a while over the heads of the revelling crowd in the Grande Place, and then burst with a prodigious explosion, sending forth rockets and other fireworks in every direction. This exhibition, then a new ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... the audience. Baker saw Wily poised, beet-red, to spring up once more; then apparently he thought better of it ...
— The Great Gray Plague • Raymond F. Jones

... almost dark when Charles and his companion descended them. The rusted musket poised against the doorpost still indicated the supposed presence ...
— Barlasch of the Guard • H. S. Merriman

... long-tailed tits were flitting about, and they spied some black-caps and pipits, and even a buzzard falcon poised in the air high above the cliffs. Here quite a little excitement occurred, for several sea-gulls attacked the buzzard and with loud cries tried to drive it away, following it as it soared higher and higher into the heavens, and finally routing it ...
— Monitress Merle • Angela Brazil

... holy home associations were thronging round their hearts; in the spontaneous piety and devotion of the last hours of so long a voyage; in the fullness and the frankness of their souls; when there was naught to jar the well-poised equilibrium of their judgment—under all these circumstances, at least nine tenths of a crew of five hundred man-of-war's-men resolved for ever to turn their backs on the sea. But do men ever hate the thing they ...
— White Jacket - or, the World on a Man-of-War • Herman Melville

... there, with nervous fingers scattered the seeds as he went his way. So that the dove cooed in her little swelling throat, gathered what Luigi spilled, and, startled at last by a frisking hound, flew up and alighted on the tray which Luigi's other hand poised airily on his head, and was borne along with all the company of fair white things there ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 84, October, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... unaware of the approach of two horsemen from the Gully Crossing. They did not stop at the garden gate, but made for the usual station entrance at the back. One of them, lingering behind the other, gazed earnestly at Lady Bridget's tense little figure and bent head, poised in a listening attitude and conveying to him the impression that something momentous had happened or was about to happen. And just then, appalling shrieks, from the rear of the home, justified ...
— Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land • Rosa Praed

... answered. "I ought to, too; I've seen the play enough. There's a girl in it that was stolen when she was an infant—was picked off the street or something—and she's the one that's hounded by the two old criminals I was telling you about." He stopped with a mouthful of pie poised on a fork before his face. "She comes very near getting drowned—no, that's not it. I'll tell you what I'll do," he concluded hopelessly, "I'll get you the book. I can't remember now for the ...
— Sister Carrie • Theodore Dreiser

... opened, and to the accompaniment of a respectful murmur of "Mademoiselle est arrivee" from Achille, a woman's figure, shrouded in furs and with a scarf twisted round her head, slipped past the Frenchman, and stood poised just inside the threshold as though uncertain whether to stay or go. Achille retired and closed the door noiselessly behind ...
— The Vision of Desire • Margaret Pedler

... age she was certainly none the worse for her very practical knowledge of mathematics, her ability to conduct correctly the business side of the estate, for upon this, as the business manager, good Dr. Llewellyn insisted, and if that bonny, well-poised, level little head sometimes grew weary over investments, and interest, and profits and losses, and nestled down confidingly upon his shoulder, the subjects were none the less fully digested, and Peggy knew to a dollar, as he did, whence her ...
— Peggy Stewart: Navy Girl at Home • Gabrielle E. Jackson

... to come, from the valley of the shadow of death into the land of life? At last the wanderers came upon a whole company of bluebells—not what Hugh would have called bluebells, for the bluebells of Scotland are the single-poised harebells—but wild hyacinths, growing in a damp and shady spot, in wonderful luxuriance. They were quite three feet in height, with long, graceful, drooping heads; hanging down from them, all along one side, the largest and loveliest of bells—one lying close above the other, on ...
— David Elginbrod • George MacDonald

... not hear their answer, for she was watching his hand. It was poised just above the fruit-dish, as if he meant to plunge it ...
— The Biography of a Prairie Girl • Eleanor Gates

... here beside this fiord? What did she? Questions that received no answer filled his mind. Above all, what was about to happen between them? What fate had brought him there? To him, Seraphita was the motionless marble, light nevertheless as a vapor, which Minna had seen that day poised above the precipices of the Falberg. Could she thus stand on the edge of all gulfs without danger, without a tremor of the arching eyebrows, or a quiver of the light of the eye? If his love was to be without hope, it ...
— Seraphita • Honore de Balzac

... fellow you are!" thought Lettis as he looked at him. Lettis was thinking of other qualities than flesh, but the physical Red Saunders on horseback was deserving of a glance from anybody; the massive figure so well poised; the clear cut, proud profile; the shapely head with its crown of red-gold hair; the easy grace of him by virtue of his strength—it would be a remarkable crowd in which Chanta Seechee Red couldn't pass for a man. He was every inch of that ...
— Red Saunders • Henry Wallace Phillips

... was glittering with lights, glass, and silver; the room was also brilliant; and at first, Nannie was a little surprised. The chairs were set on each side of the room; but, as the seats were pushed under, they only added to the height; my father mounted, and said, "Over, Nannie": the docile creature poised herself on her hind legs, stretched out her neck, as if to measure the distance, and cleared the whole; the only ill effect arising from which, was, that the marks of her hoofs were left in the carpet. ...
— Anecdotes of the Habits and Instinct of Animals • R. Lee

... lulled for good; and in a matter of another ten seconds pratique would have been given. But from the forecastle-head there came a yell, a chatter of barbaric voices, a scuffle and a scream; a gray-black figure mounted the rail, and poised there a moment, an offence to the sunlight, and then, falling convulsively downwards, hit the yellow water with a smack and a spatter of spray, ...
— A Master of Fortune • Cutcliffe Hyne

... at the foot of the peak, we ascended it by a sloping ridge on the south-east face. Huge blocks of granite—some poised on a point as if the slightest touch would send them rolling and thundering to the plains below—covered the sides and summits of this and the smaller peak, to the north of which are several others scattered over about a mile ...
— Discoveries in Australia, Volume 1. • J Lort Stokes

... He poised himself grotesquely, in an attitude of mirth, On a damask-covered hassock that was sitting on the hearth; And at a magic signal of his stubbly little thumb, I saw the fireplace changing to ...
— Afterwhiles • James Whitcomb Riley

... sheath he watched it travel home, the supple female curve gliding and yielding as a woman yields to a man's caress. "Voluptuous, I call it. Under the left breast, eh?" He drew it again and held it poised and pointing at his cousin. "Come, even I could cut your heart out with a gem of a blade like that." Lawrence held himself lightly erect, his big frame stiffening from head to foot and the pupils of his eyes dilating till the irids were blackened. "Call Laura." ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... Oh, may thy sacred power control Bach fiercer working of my soul, Damp every spark of genuine fire, And languors, like thine own, inspire! Trite be each thought, and every line As moral and as dull as thine! 180 Poised in mid-air—(it matters not To ascertain the very spot, Nor yet to give you a relation How it eluded gravitation)— Hung a watch-tower, by Vulcan plann'd With such rare skill, by Jove's command, That every word which, whisper'd here, Scarce ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... which consciousness bears reference at once to the fictitious events of the vision and the real circumstances of the sleeper, must occupy, I am inclined to think, very little time,—single moments, mayhap, poised midway between the sleeping and waking state. Next day (Sunday) I attended the Free Church in the parish, where I found a numerous and attentive congregation,—descendants, in large part, of the old devout Munroes of Ferindonald,—and heard ...
— The Cruise of the Betsey • Hugh Miller

... never said that her marriage was unhappy. The people had shaken their heads before it, only, and prophesied nothing good. When Martin fourteen years after the death of his brother meets Marie-Liese at his grave, she has become a handsome woman and has been a widow for eight years but is well poised mentally and lives for her boy. In Poldl's concern the wish must indeed have been father of the thought. If he could not have his treasure, then she should not be happy at the side of another man. Yet apparently ...
— Sleep Walking and Moon Walking - A Medico-Literary Study • Isidor Isaak Sadger

... man that hours passed as he clung doggedly to the huge trunk which trembled and shivered and plunged wildly at the pounding impact, when suddenly it brought up against a half-submerged rock, stopped dead, grated and jarred at the crash of following logs, poised for an instant, and then slanted into deeper water, while up the man's leg shot a twisting, wrenching pain, sickening—nerve-killing ...
— The Promise - A Tale of the Great Northwest • James B. Hendryx

... once doubled over its ill-assorted contents, he was obliged to rope both ends before he could carry it in safety. This load, heavier than the last, he succeeded in getting to the crevice, and as he poised it over the brink a few yards from where the tarpaulin lay, he apostrophized it with—"Break if you want to; pieces is good enough for your ...
— Lahoma • John Breckenridge Ellis

... of its curious shape and the stealthy way it had come. At least, he hoped so; and if he could only have told whether it was a man or an animal he would easily have made up his mind. But the uncertain light, and the way it crouched half-hidden behind the bushes, prevented this. So he stood, poised ready to run, and yet waiting, hoping, indeed expecting every minute a sign ...
— Jimbo - A Fantasy • Algernon Blackwood

... the steel enclosed, He poised his ruthless hand on high— But God in mercy interposed His shadow for ...
— Queen Victoria • E. Gordon Browne

... development in these sectors. Mauritius has attracted more than 32,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India, South Africa, and China. Investment in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Mauritius, with its strong textile sector, has been well poised to take advantage of the Africa Growth ...
— The 2008 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... front of the tank, his nose almost pressed to the glass. Only a portion of the squid remained, and his ink-bag was emptier than ever. In the corner of the tank sat the lobster, poised apparently ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... no gun, neither six-shooter nor rifle. He drew out a short knife which might be used to skin a beef or carve meat, though certainly no human being had ever used such a weapon against a five-foot rattler. He stooped and rested both hands on his thighs. His feet were not two paces from the poised head of the snake. As if marvelling at this temerity, the big rattler tucked back his head and sounded the alarm again. In response the cowboy flashed his knife in the sun. Instantly the snake struck but the deadly fangs fell a few inches short of the riding ...
— The Untamed • Max Brand

... the gold behind the three palms, and the upper rim of the round moon, red too as blood, crept about the desert. Domini, leaning forward with one hand upon her horse's warm neck, watched until the full circle was poised for a moment on the horizon, holding the palms in its frame of fire. She had never seen a moon look so immense and so vivid as this moon that came up into the night like a portent, fierce yet serene, moon of a barbaric world, such as might have shone upon Herod when he heard the voice ...
— The Garden Of Allah • Robert Hichens

... English rather than an American aspect,—being of stronger outline than most of our young ladies, although handsomer than English women generally, extremely self-possessed and well poised without affectation or assumption, but quietly conscious of rank, as much so as if she were an Earl's daughter. In truth, she felt pretty much as an Earl's daughter would do towards the merchants' wives and daughters who made up the feminine portion ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... till others arrived; Jack was oddly moved by the sight of her slender hand, exquisitely feminine and appealing, as it poised the cue or lay on the green cloth of the table. Little intimacies were inevitable as he was further called upon to instruct her in the formation of a "bridge," or the handling of a cue; and he soon forgot his desire to escape, in the involuntary ...
— Banked Fires • E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi

... whether you succeed or fail. Your intercession has not displeased me. It cannot affect my good name. For Fausta's sake—'at her name he paused as if for strength—'and because she wishes it, I would rather live than die. Otherwise my mind is even-poised, ...
— Zenobia - or, The Fall of Palmyra • William Ware

... does not always stop at Mingun; we went steaming past it on our left. The reflections of the trees and ruin in the smoothly running stream were crossed by rippling bands of lavender, where a breeze touched the water: and sea swallows poised and dipped, screaming and flashing after each other. On the far side of the river were level white sands, green sward, and ...
— From Edinburgh to India & Burmah • William G. Burn Murdoch

... a different matter. Those who had never gone through a Claflin contest were inclined to be finicky of appetite and to go off into trances with a piece of toast or a fork-full of potato poised between plate and mouth. Even the more experienced fellows showed some indication of strain. Thursby, for instance, who had been three years on the first team as substitute or first-choice centre, who ...
— Left Guard Gilbert • Ralph Henry Barbour

... where President Lincoln, writing of the peace which he hoped would "come soon, to stay; and so come as to be worth the keeping in all future time," added that while there would "be some black men who can remember that with silent tongue and clenched teeth and steady eye, and well-poised bayonet, they have helped mankind on to this great consummation," he feared there would "be some white ones unable to forget that, with malignant heart and deceitful tongue, they ...
— Lincoln's Yarns and Stories • Alexander K. McClure

... morning of day and the morning of life, the freshness of the dawn and the aspiration of youth— these things are remarkably suggested in the figure. With head up and winged arms outstretched, the youth is poised on tiptoe, the weight thrown forward, as if just on the ...
— An Art-Lovers guide to the Exposition • Shelden Cheney

... bent over him, remained poised above his shoulder for a few moments. Then he coolly took the key from McKay's overcoat pocket and very deftly continued the search, in spite of the drowsy restlessness of ...
— In Secret • Robert W. Chambers

... Beauty conditional to love. Prepare to meet the weak alarms Of novel nearness; recollect The eye which magnified her charms Is microscopic for defect. Fear comes at first; but soon, rejoiced, You'll find your strong and tender loves, Like holy rocks by Druids poised, The least force shakes, but none removes. Her strength is your esteem; beware Of finding fault; her will's unnerv'd By blame; from you 'twould be despair; But praise that is not quite deserv'd Will all her ...
— The Angel in the House • Coventry Patmore

... uninteresting. As the car jolts along past "Hag's Valley," a dozen curlews take wing, and a little further on the shrill cry of the redshank strikes on the ear. Now and then a hare will start among the bent-grass, while aloft the falcon rests poised on her mighty wing. But saving these wild animals, the beautiful blackfaced sheep, and black Galloway calves, the country has no inhabitants. What little was once cultivated has reverted to rough pasture, covered with bent or sedge and ...
— Disturbed Ireland - Being the Letters Written During the Winter of 1880-81. • Bernard H. Becker

... was falling now through wide refulgent skies and tumbling caravans of light down into the streets. New York, he supposed, was home—the city of luxury and mystery, of preposterous hopes and exotic dreams. Here on the outskirts absurd stucco palaces reared themselves in the cool sunset, poised for an instant in cool unreality, glided off far away, succeeded by the mazed confusion of the Harlem River. The train moved in through the deepening twilight, above and past half a hundred cheerful sweating streets of the upper ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... for more than a limited time. Some outward or inward shock, some drastic swing of the psychic pendulum, must sooner or later restore the balance and bring the will back to that wavering and indecisive state—poised like the point of a compass between the two extremes—which seems to be its ...
— The Complex Vision • John Cowper Powys

... than any amount of legitimate industry. He was a fluent and ready debater; he wrote for the college journal; his high animal spirits brought everybody about him, and his mind seemed ever eager and poised for flight: he was ready in wit; decried trifling subjects, yet would dispute for two hours over an absurdity; was dexterous and unanswerable in his syllogisms; would advance the crudest and most untenable theory, defend it, reducing the arguments of his opponents to meaningless ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, September, 1878 • Various

... and the three Terrans and eighty-odd Kragans who had survived the fight stood on the steps, weapons poised, seeking more enemies. The machine-guns up the street stuttered a few short bursts and were silent. From behind, the beleaguered Terrans and their Kragan guards were emerging. He saw Jules Keaveney and his wife, Commander Prinsloo ...
— Uller Uprising • Henry Beam Piper, John D. Clark and John F. Carr

... He could see the red flush deepening in her upturned face. She was amazingly unexpected, bewilderingly pretty, and as cool as ice except for the softly glowing fire in her cheeks. He saw Rossland staring with his cigarette half poised. It was instinctive for him to smile in the face of danger, and he smiled now, without speaking. The girl laughed softly. She gave his arm a gentle tug, and he found himself moving past Rossland, amazed but obedient, her ...
— The Alaskan • James Oliver Curwood

... looked toward the camp a great wall of flame seemed to leap from the ground between him and his companions. There it poised for one brief instant, then, with a roar swooped down into the tall bunch grass, rushing ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in New Mexico • Frank Gee Patchin

... long was Judge Marshall gone?" Dundee pressed her, his pencil, which had been flying to take down her every word, poised over the notebook he had snatched from ...
— Murder at Bridge • Anne Austin

... the shrill cricket cry; To see the feeding bat glance through the wood; To catch the distant falling of the flood; While o'er the cliff th' awaken'd churn-owl hung Through the still gloom protracts his chattering song; While high in air, and poised upon his wings, Unseen, the soft-enamour'd woodlark sings: These, NATURE'S works, the curious mind employ, Inspire a soothing melancholy joy: As fancy warms, a pleasing kind of pain Steals o'er the cheek, ...
— The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 1 • Gilbert White

... men had sprung to their feet. It seemed from Power's attitude as though murder might be done. Philip, however, stood his ground almost contemptuously, his frame tense and poised, his fists clenched. Suddenly the strain passed. The man whose face for a moment had been almost black with passion, lowered his cane, swayed a little upon his ...
— The Cinema Murder • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... more, wasted not a jot of time. As Standish struck ground, the man was upon him, knife again aloft, poised above the ...
— Black Caesar's Clan • Albert Payson Terhune

... and all the intermediate landscape—wood, and stubble, and ferny slope—steeped in stormy majesties of light. But for once the quick artist sense was shut against Nature's spectacles. She walked in a blind anguish of self-knowledge and self-scorn. She who had plumed herself on the poised mind, the ...
— The Mating of Lydia • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... but his type was not unsuited to the period he had chosen. A smallish head, wide across the brows, well-shaped and poised, with straight, smooth hair that grew far back on the temples and would recede even further as the years went on; humorous bright grey eyes, not large, but set wide apart under slightly marked eyebrows; a pugnacious, rather sharply-pointed ...
— The Ffolliots of Redmarley • L. Allen Harker

... line tubs were fixed in their places; the cranes were thrust out; the mainyard was backed, and the three boats swung over the sea like three samphire baskets over high cliffs. Outside of the bulwarks their eager crews with one hand clung to the rail, while one foot was expectantly poised on the gunwale. So look the long line of man-of-war's men about to throw themselves on board an ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... time next week, though. Wife'll run up to-morrow or next day to take her choice of the two houses I've been looking at. Then, paper-hanging, mantels, plumbing and all that—Make it even twelve-fifty?" he demanded, pen poised in a plump, white hand, eying the ...
— The Desire of the Moth; and The Come On • Eugene Manlove Rhodes

... supposed that the boy had been duped by a pretty face and his own inexperienced kindly heart. And so, and so,—why, so end all the efforts of men who entrust to others the troublesome execution of humane intentions! The scales of earthly justice are poised in their quivering equilibrium, not by huge hundred-weights, but by infinitesimal grains, needing the most wary caution, the most considerate patience, the most delicate touch, to arrange or readjust. Few of our ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... For one brief blessed week she would be in her element, would escape from the galling restraint of economy; and, more than all, in the background of her mind there lurked a hope that by some means she might recapture that vigorous, self-poised husband of hers, whose love was, after all, the one real necessity of her life; and whom she now saw slipping slowly, surely out of reach. But to recapture she must recaptivate; and to that end faultless ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... of linguistic superiority—in civil life he had been concerned with the wine trade in Bordeaux—proceeded to carry out his instructions. He turned over a leaf in his notebook and poised ...
— The Rough Road • William John Locke

... Patty, holding the sugar-tongs poised over a teacup, while she put her head on one side and smiled at ...
— Patty's Friends • Carolyn Wells

... it along hyar, Ben." The girl, in advance, paused, bareheaded, each uplifted hand holding out a string of her white sunbonnet, which, thus distended, was poised, winglike, behind the rough tangle of auburn hair and against the amber sky. She turned as she spoke, to face her companion, taking a step or two backward ...
— The Mystery of Witch-Face Mountain and Other Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... to the mystical evening dance of the Rider on the Mouse,[6] who whirling round his elephant trunk, smeared with wet vermilion, suddenly shoots it straight up into the purple sky, and stands for a single instant still, poised in the yellow twilight, as if to make a coral handle for the white umbrella of ...
— Bubbles of the Foam • Unknown

... to go and see them. Madame Roussin was a good musician, and played the piano charmingly: she had a delicate, firm touch: with her little head bowed over the keyboard, and her hands poised above it and darting down, she was like a pecking hen. She was talented and knew more about music than most Frenchwomen, but she was as insensible as a fish to the deeper meaning of music: to her it was only a ...
— Jean Christophe: In Paris - The Market-Place, Antoinette, The House • Romain Rolland

... lying upon a settle beside him completed a costume which was a badge of honour to the wearer, for any Frenchman would have recognised it as being that of an officer in the famous Blue Guard of Louis the Fourteenth. A trim, dashing soldier he looked, with his curling black hair and well-poised head. Such he had proved himself before now in the field, too, until the name of Amory de Catinat had become conspicuous among the thousands of the valiant lesser noblesse who had flocked into the service of ...
— The Refugees • Arthur Conan Doyle

... rose high and fell tremblingly; she grasped her pencil tightly and held it poised ...
— The Desired Woman • Will N. Harben

... his boyhood, was orderly and deserted; but the broad couch across the western window was strewn with sheets of manuscript which overflowed to the floor, while in the midst of them Theodora sat enthroned, a book on her knee and her ink insecurely poised on one of the cushions beside her. Across the lawn she could see The Savins among the tall, bare trees, and she paused now and then to watch the yellow sunshine as it sifted down through the branches. All at once she stopped, ...
— Phebe, Her Profession - A Sequel to Teddy: Her Book • Anna Chapin Ray

... first two dancers retired, and were succeeded by a single man, with a spear poised high above his head. He, as had the others, stepped forward slowly, turning round and round, now advancing, now retiring, now brandishing it furiously, now pretending to hurl his weapon at his enemies. This ...
— Mark Seaworth • William H.G. Kingston



Words linked to "Poised" :   composed, balanced, equanimous



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