Katherine Lee Bates
Feminist and author of "America the Beautiful," Katharine Lee Bates had a 25 year romantic friendship with Katharine Coman. Though it isn't known if their relationship was sexual, Bates referred to Coman as her "Joy of Life" and wrote many poems about their love. Both chairs of departments at Wellesley College, they associated socially with other educated women who lived as couples, or in "Boston Marriages."
Coman died of cancer in 1915. A few years after her death, Bates told a friend
So much of me died with Katharine Coman that I'm sometimes not quite sure whether I'm alive or not.
America the Beautiful
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
If You Could Come
My love, my love, if you could come once more From your high place,
I would not question you for heavenly lore,
But, silent, take the comfort of your face.
I would not ask you if those golden spheres
In love rejoice,
If only our stained star hath sin and tears,
But fill my famished hearing with your voice.
One touch of you were worth a thousand creeds.
My wound is numb
Through toil-pressed, but all night long it bleeds
In aching dreams, and still you cannot come.