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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



... our young friend, therefore, became a most peculiar one. He had been given an important preliminary advantage, if he chose to aspire to the love of the sweet one at his side; but he thought hard, and did not lose his self-poise or sense ...
— Brave Tom - The Battle That Won • Edward S. Ellis

... The steadiness of their poise and their silence in the presence of strangers is not due to moroseness or the absence of active thought. They have learned in the woods, if they are to be successful in their hunts, to be personally as unobtrusive as possible, often to remain motionless, and all the while to watch and listen ...
— Sergeant York And His People • Sam Cowan

... meantime for his breakfast, he entered readily and worked steadily and persistently through his third series of trials, but in no one of these trials did he choose correctly. Neither on this day nor the following did he exhibit resentment while at work. He apparently had regained his affective poise and was able to attend as formerly to the ...
— The Mental Life of Monkeys and Apes - A Study of Ideational Behavior • Robert M. Yerkes

... I should succeed so quickly, so easily, even with the help of one so powerful as Helen Merival. It is my fate to work for what I get." And with this return of his belief that to himself alone he must look for victory, his self-poise and self-confidence ...
— The Light of the Star - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... to the fire, opened his pack, and spreading out his blanket, rolled himself in it with his feet close to the red embers. For a long time he lay awake. This episode took him back nearly a decade, to a time when he, like Danton, would have lost his poise at a glance from the nearest pair of eyes. That the maid should so interest him was in itself amusing. Had she been older or younger, had she been any but the timid, honest little woman that she was, he would have left her, without a second thought, in the care of the Commandant at ...
— The Road to Frontenac • Samuel Merwin

... to find that the career of the first great Virginian profoundly influenced the second. "One familiar with the life of Lee," says Thomas Nelson Page, "cannot help noting the strong resemblance of his character in its strength, its poise, its rounded completeness, to that of Washington; or fail to mark what influence the life of Washington had on the life of Lee. The stamp appears upon it from his boyhood, and grows more plain as ...
— Boys' Book of Famous Soldiers • J. Walker McSpadden

... the golden butterflies skim over, And poise, all fondly, on these lifted lips, Leaving the riches of the sweet red clover For the blue gentians' fine ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, September 1880 • Various

... great change had come over Mr. Ricardo since that morning. A whole side of him which from prudence, from necessity, from loyalty, had been kept dormant, was aroused now, colouring his thoughts and disturbing his mental poise by the vision of such staggering consequences as, for instance, the possibility of an active conflict with the governor. The appearance of the monstrous Pedro with his news drew Ricardo out of a ...
— Victory • Joseph Conrad

... and ear still recognized no difference in him. There were days when he was as good-looking as ever, and much of the old fascination remained: but to one who knew him well, as Harding did, there was no doubt that his life had passed its meridian. The day was no longer at poise, but was quietly sinking; and though the skies were full of light, the buoyancy and blitheness that the hours bear in their ascension were missing; lassitude ...
— Mike Fletcher - A Novel • George (George Augustus) Moore

... Libra, House of Marriage; that all-important relation which may make or mar a life, the Balance is so easily disturbed in its equilibrium. To preserve its harmony, equality must reign, blending love and wisdom. It is the perfect poise of body, mind, and soul, achieved by loving obedience to the higher laws of our being and the true union ...
— The Light of Egypt, Volume II • Henry O. Wagner/Belle M. Wagner/Thomas H. Burgoyne

... back, or rather burden showed As if it stooped with its own load. To poise this, equally he bore A paunch of the same bulk before, Which still he had a special care To keep well ...
— In The Yule-Log Glow, Vol. IV (of IV) • Harrison S. Morris

... why, and in spite of it all are absolutely frank in their feelings and sentiments, which they display by violent, unexpected, incomprehensible, foolish resolutions which overthrow our arguments, our customary poise and all our selfish plans. The unforeseenness and suddenness of their determinations will always render them undecipherable enigmas as far as we are concerned. We continually ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... must find its centre of peace in a babel of noise; In the changing ways of the world of men it must keep its poise; And over the sorrowing sounds of earth it must hear God's call; And the faith that cannot do all this, that ...
— Poems of Purpose • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... how bewitching she was! how her rose of a face glowed and dimpled! how enchanting was the velvet darkness of her eyes! how airy the poise of her little black head, with its brilliant flower tucked in at the side of the knot of curly hair! Jovita stared at her and made a queer half-internal sound of exclamation. It was not her way to express approval at all freely, and she had no opinion of people who wasted time in telling girls ...
— The Pretty Sister Of Jose - 1889 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... up his hand. It was a fat hand. Suavity was come upon it like a new glove and changed the man. He was no longer cringing. Now he had poise, such poise as we in these days are accustomed to see in leather and mahogany offices. The Colonel ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... the bow; Godefroy, the stern; Jean and I, the middle. A poise of the steel-shod steering pole, we grasped our paddles, a downward dip, quick followed by Godefroy at the stern, and out shot the canoe, swift, light, lithe, alert, like a racer to the bit, with a gurgling of ...
— Heralds of Empire - Being the Story of One Ramsay Stanhope, Lieutenant to Pierre Radisson in the Northern Fur Trade • Agnes C. Laut

... 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 to ...
— Eothen • A. W. Kinglake

... time she had wondered how so perfect an animal as he had ever climbed to such an elevation of work; and then had wondered again whether any but such an animal ever in life does so climb—shouldering along with him the poise and breadth of health and causing the hot sun of the valley to shine ...
— Bride of the Mistletoe • James Lane Allen

... human passion, it's yours to resist it. You're letting this man you hate mould your character; you're letting him burn the kindness out of your soul. He's making you bitter and hard and unjust—and you're letting him. I thought you had more will—more poise. It isn't your affair what he is, even what he does, Dick—it's your affair to keep your own judgment unwarped, your own heart gentle, your own soul untainted by the poison of hatred. We are both churchmen, ...
— The Militants - Stories of Some Parsons, Soldiers, and Other Fighters in the World • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

... to the breaking point before; but his alertness was now trebled, and, like a sensitive barometer, he felt the danger of Larry, the brute strength of Jeff, the cunning of Henry, the grave poise of Joe, to say nothing of Scottie—an unknown force. But Scottie was running on in his talk; he was telling of how he met the storekeeper in town; he was naming everything he saw; these fellows seemed to hunger for the minutest news of men. ...
— Way of the Lawless • Max Brand

... partially contradictory streams of thought, the one panacea of Education leaps to the lips of all; such human training as will best use the labor of all men without enslaving or brutalizing; such training as will give us poise to encourage the prejudices that bulwark society, and stamp out those that in sheer barbarity deafen us to the wail of prisoned souls within the Veil, and the mounting fury of ...
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 1995, Memorial Issue • Various

... critical. Some men of middle age (as they think) now will not want to forget Mlle. Ambre or Mlle. Marimon, and will continue to forgive the homely features of Mme. Scalchi for the sake of her perfect physical poise and movement as the page in "Les Huguenots," as others forgave the many registers of her voice because of her joyous volubility of utterance. Doubtless, too, there are matrons of to-day who will remember the singing of Ravelli with as much ...
— Chapters of Opera • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... intellectual 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 ...
— Oswald Langdon - or, Pierre and Paul Lanier. A Romance of 1894-1898 • Carson Jay Lee

... he was mounted so disturbed the fine mental poise of the Happy Family that they left him jingling richly off by himself, while they rode closely ...
— Flying U Ranch • B. M. Bower

... her flippant opinion, delivered to Althea, of the Service Bureau and work in general, was all that was needed to convince the shrewd junior of Jean's true position in life. Then, too, Jean was extremely likable, although Althea stood a little in awe of her remarkable poise and a certain imperiousness that occasionally ...
— Grace Harlowe's Problem • Jessie Graham Flower

... As if it stoop'd with its own load: For as AENEAS bore his sire Upon his shoulders thro' the fire, 290 Our Knight did bear no less a pack Of his own buttocks on his back; Which now had almost got the upper- Hand of his head, for want of crupper. To poise this equally, he bore 295 A paunch of the same bulk before; Which still he had a special care To keep well-cramm'd with thrifty fare; As white-pot, butter-milk, and curds, Such as a country-house affords; 300 With other vittle, which anon We farther shall ...
— Hudibras • Samuel Butler

... would not dismount, and sat his horse with grave dignity until Faye went out and in person invited him to come in and have a smoke. He is an Indian of striking personality—is rather tall, with square, broad shoulders, and the poise of his head tells one at once that he is ...
— Army Letters from an Officer's Wife, 1871-1888 • Frances M.A. Roe

... of silence follows, but it is long enough to feel strongly the emotional state of mind of the President. It plainly irritates him to be so plainly spoken to. We are conscious that his distant poise on entering is dwindling to petty confusion. There is something inordinately cool about the fervor of the women. This too irritates him. His irritation only serves to awaken in every woman new strength. It is a wonderful experience to feel strength ...
— Jailed for Freedom • Doris Stevens

... daytime, for our digestions went out of order and our tempers followed suit. Even the Story Girl and I had a fight—something that had never happened before. Peter was the only one who kept his normal poise. Nothing could ...
— The Story Girl • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... 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 left at ...
— The Junior Classics Volume 8 - Animal and Nature Stories • Selected and arranged by William Patten

... sophism confounded poor George for a minute, during which Sally began to giggle violently, and flirt in her rustic fashion with the three rebels in a row. At length George, recovering his poise and ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... an animal or a man? It had the body, the head, and arms like a man, but the shaggy skin which covered it, and the two long thin legs upon which it seemed to poise, looked as though they belonged ...
— Nobody's Boy - Sans Famille • Hector Malot

... victor-wreaths at its close. I may not dally on my way, turning to the right and the left for beauty and caricature. I will balance on the strict edge of my narrative, as a seventh-heavenward Mahometan with wine-forbidden steadiness of poise treads Al Serat, his bridge of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862 • Various

... closer in his enthusiasm. "The point carrying the detonators is loaded with lead. If properly handled, it is sure to fly with that end in front. You take it between your thumb and second finger, thus, and poise it by placing the tip of the first finger behind it, thus; but you must throw hard, and wait until the upper part of the door is smashed, and you can fling it clear, or three ounces of dynamite will explode in front of your nose, with disastrous effect. I will have a second bomb ready if ...
— A Son of the Immortals • Louis Tracy

... 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 ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Volume I (of 3) - Essay 4: Macaulay • John Morley

... The jerk at the kilt-belt buckle somehow seemed to brace the sluggish spirit; his shoulders found their old square set above a well-curved back; his feet—his knees—by an instinct took a graceful poise they had never learned in the mean immersement of breeches and Linlithgow boots. As he fastened his buckled brogues, he hummed the ...
— Doom Castle • Neil Munro

... in this new way, he was also able to see that she herself was changed. She figured definitely as an actor now with an odd white intensity in her face, with some mysterious purpose in her eyes, with a resolve in the whole poise of her body that seemed ...
— The Cathedral • Hugh Walpole

... By other than unsetting lights to steer New-trimmed in Heaven, nor than his steadfast mood More steadfast, far from rashness as from fear, Rigid, but with himself first, grasping still In swerveless poise the wave-beat helm of will; Not honored then or now because he wooed The popular voice, but that he still withstood; Broad-minded, higher-souled, there is but one Who was all this and ours, ...
— Poems of American Patriotism • Brander Matthews (Editor)

... the bay, about a quarter of a mile from the spit on which they stood, there were two boats. One was a light skiff, in which a girl, clad in white jersey and white flannel skirt, with a white Tam o' Shanter pinned on her head, was sculling leisurely towards the town. From the swing of her body, the poise of her head and shoulders, and the smoothness with which her sculls dropped in the water and left it, it was plain that she was a perfect mistress of the art; wherefore the two men looked ...
— The World Peril of 1910 • George Griffith

... not quite understand her. While she had been cordial enough, yet there was an underlying suggestion of reserve, not at all apparent and yet unmistakably felt. It was, he felt, as though in her life and training and experience, she had acquired a poise, a knowledge of at least certain parts of the world and its affairs, which gave her confidence, made her at home, and taught her how to deal with situations which other girls less broadly endowed would have found over-powering, ...
— Prince or Chauffeur? - A Story of Newport • Lawrence Perry

... Mary had grown calm again. The wonted serene, balanced nature had found its habitual poise, and she looked up innocently, though with tears in her large, blue eyes, and said,—"No, mother,—I have nothing that I do not mean to tell you fully. This letter came from James Marvyn; he came here to see ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 15, January, 1859 • Various

... decoys, over which the skins of wild ducks had been carefully stretched. An hour after dark he came again, attracted, no doubt, by the continued quacking. I had another swift glimpse of what seemed only a shadow; saw it poise and shoot downward before I could find it with my gun sight, striking the decoys with a great splash and clatter. Before he discovered his mistake or could get started again, I had him. The next moment Don came ashore, proud as a peacock, bringing a great snowy owl with him—a ...
— Ways of Wood Folk • William J. Long

... 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 followed me out on deck ...
— A Pirate of the Caribbees • Harry Collingwood

... two young men stood eyeing each other Darrin noted that the young woman's annoyer was somewhat taller than himself, broader of shoulder and deeper of chest. He had the same confidence of athletic poise that Dave himself displayed. In a resort to force, it looked as though the stranger would ...
— Dave Darrin at Vera Cruz • H. Irving Hancock

... possesseth all things, by cleaving unto Thee, whom all things serve, though he know not even the circles of the Great Bear, yet is it folly to doubt but he is in a better state than one who can measure the heavens, and number the stars, and poise the elements, yet neglecteth Thee who hast made all things in number, weight, ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... sex or race. By all the proprieties of nature, woman should have with man a voice in the enactment of laws and the administration of government. She is the complement of man, essential for the due poise, the right wisdom, and conduct in family, in neighborhood, in Church or in State. Sharing in civil government, she will be a redemptive agency for society in many ways little thought at present. And agitation and overturning shall ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... must act. The Stagyrite Says thus, and says extremely right; Strict justice is the sovereign guide, That o'er our actions should preside; This queen of virtue is confess'd To regulate and bind the rest. Thrice happy, if you can but find Her equal balance poise your mind: All diff'rent graces soon will enter, Like ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Vol. IV • Theophilus Cibber

... all but Ironsyde himself appreciated the silence which fell upon her. His speech, indeed, showed lack of sensibility, yet it could hardly be blamed, since only through acceptation of realities might any hopeful action be taken. But the harm was done and the delicate poise of the situation between Abel's parents upset. Sabina said no more, and in the momentary silence that followed she rose and ...
— The Spinners • Eden Phillpotts

... motherhood with its hundred trials, her brother's gloom and despair, the new conditions of the rough country—even the irony of a fate that had set her at hard, uncongenial toil in the very place where she had sought culture. But she succeeded, and had not only held her own poise in the struggle, but had managed to permeate the family life with ...
— 'Lizbeth of the Dale • Marian Keith

... wherein to hang it. She might have. For she was the quintessence of that feminine product of our country at which Europe has never ceased to wonder, and to give her history would no more account for her than the process of manufacture explains the most delicate of scents. Her poise, her quick detection of sham in others not so fortunate, her absolute conviction that all things were as they ought to be; her charity, her interest in its recipients; her smile, which was kindness itself; her delicate features, her white skin with ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... book to beget intelligent reading, so as to develop in the student mental alertness, poise, ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume I. (of X.) • Various

... pen, I've found my head in breathless poise Lifted, and dropped in shame again, Hearing some alien ghost of noise— Some smothered sound that seemed to be A trunk-lid dropped unguardedly, Or the crisp writhings of some quire Of ...
— Green Fields and Running Brooks, and Other Poems • James Whitcomb Riley

... with practiced finger on the little fluttering pulse. The bride's stepmother roused to solicitous and anxious attention. The organ came smartly up again in a hopeless tangle of chords and modulations, trying to get its poise once more. People climbed upon their seats to see, or crowded out in the aisle curiously and unwisely kind, and in the way. Then the minister asked the congregation to be seated; and amid the rustle of wedding finery into seats suddenly grown too narrow and too low, the ushers ...
— Exit Betty • Grace Livingston Hill

... growing sound within the room had startled him out of his thought. His face wore a fleeting expression of surprise. He looked at the prosecutor, at the little group in conference at the end of the table below him, as if he did not understand. Then his judicial poise returned. He tapped with his pen on ...
— The Bondboy • George W. (George Washington) Ogden

... troop at camp, and who still held that office. It was Florence that introduced herself to Marjorie. Neither bold nor shy, with a little more than the ordinary amount of good looks, she seemed unconsciously to possess the poise ...
— The Girl Scouts' Good Turn • Edith Lavell

... chieftain of a noble race. The one and only time in life I saw him was when he was a broken and a hunted man and when the pallor of death was upon his cheeks, but even then I was impressed by the majesty of his bearing, the dignity of his poise, the indescribably magnetic glance of his wondrous eyes, and the lineaments of power in every gesture, every tone and every movement. He awed and he attracted at the same time. He stood strikingly out from all others at that meeting ...
— Ireland Since Parnell • Daniel Desmond Sheehan

... drinks the sleeping potion, although her spirit does not quail, nor her determination falter for an instant, her vivid fancy conjures up one terrible apprehension after another, till gradually, and most naturally in such a mind once thrown off its poise, the horror rises to frenzy—her imagination realizes its own hideous creations, and she sees her cousin ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... 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 political conceptions, ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. I. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... unearthly in the fairness of its expression; the delicacy of his whole organization, both mental and physical—all, all, with the terror of decline in their hearts, spoke as much of despair as of hope, and placed the life and death of their beloved boy in an equal poise. ...
— Jane Sinclair; Or, The Fawn Of Springvale - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... Slinkard had the priceless poise of the true lyric poet, and it was the ordered system in his vision that proved him. He knew the value of his attitudes and he was certain that perfection is imperishable, and strove with a poet's calm intensity toward that. He had found his Egypt, his ...
— Adventures in the Arts - Informal Chapters on Painters, Vaudeville, and Poets • Marsden Hartley

... of the bay now," she answered, "and almost as far from the nearest land as we are from Bryngelly, besides it is all rocks. No, you must go straight on. You will see the Poise light beyond Coed presently. You know Coed is four miles on the other side of Bryngelly, so when you see it head to ...
— Beatrice • H. Rider Haggard

... were large and brown, pleasant and fearless. A wide black hat, 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

... training, as part of herself, something she could not help. Its tendency was always to draw back from too great or too sudden intimacies. There was nothing snobbish in this; it was a sort of instinct, a natural reaction. She liked Mrs. Sherwood, admired her slow, complete poise, approved her air of breeding and the things by which she had surrounded herself. The older woman's kindness had struck in her a deep chord of appreciation. But somehow circumstances had hurried her too much. Her defensive antagonism, ...
— The Gray Dawn • Stewart Edward White

... her poise of mind and remembered that she had been at the point of writing a letter to her mother (to be mailed by the first vessel bound to a port) when Nat ...
— The Harbor of Doubt • Frank Williams

... first sound of his voice Mrs. Slawson recovered her poise. That wouldn't-call-the-queen-your-cousin feeling came over her again, and she was ready to face the music, whatever tune it might play. So susceptible is the foolish spirit of mortal to those subtle, impalpable influences of atmosphere ...
— Martha By-the-Day • Julie M. Lippmann

... was 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, Flora, and Esther. They came running at the sound of her voice, and she saw at once ...
— The Conqueror • Gertrude Franklin Atherton

... and finished the detaching process. When Nan came back after her first term at the seminary Aunt Anne preferred to college, and was running to him with her challenge of welcome, he was taken aback by the nymph-like grace and beauty of her, the poise of the small head with its braided crown—the girls at the seminary told her she might have been a Victorian by the way she wore her hair—and he instinctively caught her arms, about to enwreath his neck, held her still and looked at her. She could not know what ...
— Old Crow • Alice Brown

... out of its horizontal position and the wire thereby twisted, the resistance to twisting increases with the arc of rotation. To counteract this resistance and to render the beam sensitive to a very slight excess of load at either end, a poise, D, is attached to the beam by a standard, C, which poise carries the center of gravity of the structure above the axis of rotation. This high center of gravity tends to make the beam "top heavy," or in unstable equilibrium. By properly proportioning the poise and its distance ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 601, July 9, 1887 • Various

... rosy-cheeked mountain girl, who looked at every strange thing in wide-eyed, timid wonder; who blushed when she was spoken to; and finally, when her timidity wore away, talked with him in her crude mountain idioms and localisms. He felt sure that when this cultured creature, who radiated poise and refinement, should feel inclined to speak after a most formal introduction, her voice would be soft and low, her words precise and her accent give certain identity of Bostonian culture ...
— Chit-Chat; Nirvana; The Searchlight • Mathew Joseph Holt

... people, also guests for lunch, were just descending from a long buckboard. At sight of one of them I stopped short inside, though I mechanically continued to walk toward her. I recognized her instantly—the curve of her shoulders, the poise of her head, and her waving jet-black hair to confirm. And without the slightest warning there came tumbling and roaring up in me a torrent of longings, regrets; and I suddenly had a clear understanding of my absorption in this wretched game I had been playing year in and year out with ...
— The Plum Tree • David Graham Phillips

... foot, and then change so as to 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 ...
— Tales of Old Japan • Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford

... the earlier round-arched abutment. Its supports were provided at the points where the transverse and diagonal arches of the nave vault began to spring away from the vertical plane of the walls. The other series was the immediate counter-poise to any direct thrust exerted by the arching of the vault against the upper section of the same walls. There was, in fact, a large buttress added to support these nave walls at that point from which each set of vault-carrying ribs began to rise. This buttress, though apparently ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: Chichester (1901) - A Short History & Description Of Its Fabric With An Account Of The - Diocese And See • Hubert C. Corlette

... tranquilly that Chris was hardly able to keep back his tears. It seemed that the soul still kept its serene poise in that wasted body, and was independent of it. There was no weakness nor peevishness anywhere. The very room with its rough walls, its cobwebbed roof, its uneven flooring, its dreadful chill and gloom, seemed alive with a warm, redolent, spiritual atmosphere generated by this keen, pure ...
— The King's Achievement • Robert Hugh Benson

... first this pride is touched, then hurt, and finally the very woman in her is mortally wounded, it is at once perceptible that she descends from the strong, wild women of olden times. The wildness has become resolution, the pride has become poise, the strength has remained unchanged. She plays with life and death like the heroes of a thousand years ago. She faces death without flinching, and despite all her goodness, her delicacy, her kindly love for the old and the young, for the humble and the poor, for ...
— Hadda Padda • Godmunder Kamban

... as I passed Down beechen alleys beautiful and dim, Perhaps by some deep-shaded pool at last My feet would pause, where goldfish poise and swim, And snowy callas' velvet cups are massed Around the mossy, fern-encircled brim. Here, then, that magic summoning would cease, Or sound far off again among the ...
— Poems • Alan Seeger

... confidence, he must have been surprised at the revulsion of manner that greeted him. Kate recovered her poise—her coldness vanished, a smile broke through her reserve and her confused regret was promptly expressed: "Did I give you coffee out of the cold ...
— Laramie Holds the Range • Frank H. Spearman

... whose resistless hand First seized a ship on that contested strand; The same which dead Protesilaus bore,(242) The first that touch'd the unhappy Trojan shore: For this in arms the warring nations stood, And bathed their generous breasts with mutual blood. No room to poise the lance or bend the bow; But hand to hand, and man to man, they grow: Wounded, they wound; and seek each other's hearts With falchions, axes, swords, and shorten'd darts. The falchions ring, shields rattle, axes sound, Swords flash in air, or glitter on the ground; With streaming ...
— The Iliad of Homer • Homer

... graceful spars Poise aloft in the air, And at the mast-head, White, blue, and red, A flag unrolls the stripes and stars. Ah! when the wanderer, lonely, friendless, In foreign harbors shall behold That flag unrolled, 'T will be as a friendly hand Stretched ...
— The Children's Own Longfellow • Henry W. Longfellow

... There was no sign here of the dissipated man of the night before. It was Hillars as I had seen him in the old days. But for his 19th century garb, he might have just stepped down from a frame—a gallant by Fortuny, who loved the awakened animal in man. The poise was careless, but graceful, and the smile was debonair. His eyes were holding Gretchen's. A moment ...
— Arms and the Woman • Harold MacGrath

... descriptive of the grove at Colonus which betray the personality behind the plays; and, studied more closely, the very detachment of the drama from the dramatist is significant of character. In the poise, harmony, and balance of these beautiful creations there is revealed the instinct for proportion, the self-control and the subordination of the parts to the whole which betray a nature committed by its very instincts to a passionate devotion to beauty. In one of the poems of our own century ...
— Essays On Work And Culture • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... at her. "Oh, no, you don't!" he said kindly. "But I see plainly that you're a self-willed young person. Association with me, and the study of my poise, will do a lot for you. By the way, you have only thirty ...
— The Girl in the Mirror • Elizabeth Garver Jordan

... for a poise which he could not quite recapture. "Then will you be good enough to convey my gratitude to Mr. Higginson and say that I hope to have the opportunity of thanking ...
— Captivating Mary Carstairs • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... proportionately increased, and we are only the more exposed to the malice of hostile fortune: when we think upon all this, every heart which is not dead to feeling must be overpowered by an inexpressible melancholy, for which there is no other counter-poise than the consciousness of a vocation transcending the limits of this earthly life. This is the tragic tone of mind; and when the thought of the possible issues out of the mind as a living reality, when this tone pervades and animates a visible representation of the ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... mere girl, should rise and come forward with so conventional yet friendly a greeting, that neither her lip should tremble nor her cheek flush, was little short of intolerable. Nevertheless it helped to brace his own resolves yet more firmly. Such poise, after all that had been between them, could have its source only ...
— The Lion's Brood • Duffield Osborne

... not so intimidated. Carroll strove to speak again. Minna Eddy suddenly joined in her torrent of vituperation with the dress-maker's. She caught up the soft-soap idea with a peal of laughter more sustained than that of Madame Griggs, for she had a better poise of mentality, and her wrath was untempered with the grief and self-pity of a small, helpless woman who was fitted by nature for petting ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... judgment of his characters or in his sympathy with them or for them. Thus he fails to give his readers the proper cue which was his duty both as man and artist to have given. The highest art and the lowest are indeed here at one in demanding moral poise, if we may call it so, that however crudely in the low, and however artistically and refinedly in the high, vice should not only not be set forth as absolutely triumphing, nor virtue as being absolutely, ...
— Robert Louis Stevenson - a Record, an Estimate, and a Memorial • Alexander H. Japp

... recover its poise for hours. Grant and Hart, to whom Bates brought the news about one o'clock, rose from an untasted luncheon and hurried to the high-street. Knots of people stared at Grant, some sheepishly, others ...
— The Postmaster's Daughter • Louis Tracy

... else," this man very visibly took on an air of apprehension. He looked from one door to the other and, finding all guarded, was quite alarmed, then, without perceiving himself observed, he manned himself with his former unconcerned manner. There was something in the poise of his head, his walk, which came as a well remembered thing from some ...
— The Black Wolf's Breed - A Story of France in the Old World and the New, happening - in the Reign of Louis XIV • Harris Dickson

... Ilkeston, a fresh young woman were going in to do her shopping, he hailed her, and reined in his horse, and picked her up. Then he was glad to have her near him, his eyes shone, his voice, laughing, teasing in a warm fashion, made the poise of her head more beautiful, her blood ran quicker. They were both stimulated, the ...
— The Rainbow • D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

... lighted room 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 dames of my own land. It was strange to find this perfect human flower amidst the gloomy ugliness ...
— The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont • Robert Barr

... and slouching his hat, stood there till dawn, except when at intervals rousing himself to see how the night wore on. .. This motion is peculiar to the sperm whale. It receives its designation (pitchpoling) from its being likened to that preliminary up-and-down poise of the whale-lance, in the exercise called pitchpoling, previously described. By this motion the whale must best and most comprehensively view whatever objects may be encircling him. ...
— Moby-Dick • Melville

... serenity, and hair almost as soft and creamy as her shoulders and her finger-tips. Her beauty was not marred to Jim Greely's eyes by the fact that she was chewing gum. Amongst animals the only social poise, the only true self-possession and absence of shyness is shown by the cud-chewing cow. She is diverted from fear and soothed from self-consciousness by having her nervous attention distracted. The smoking man has this release, the knitting woman has it. Girlie and Babe had it from the continual ...
— Hidden Creek • Katharine Newlin Burt

... your independent working woman of to day comes as near being ideal in her equable self poise as can be imagined. So why should she hasten to give this liberty up in exchange for a serfdom, sweet sometimes, it is true, but which too often ...
— Violets and Other Tales • Alice Ruth Moore

... removal of a dangerous rival, and he is too good a Christian, to repine at Dutton's success. Even Mrs Jenkins will have reason to congratulate herself upon this event, when she cooly reflects upon the matter; for, howsoever she was forced from her poise for a season, by snares laid for her vanity, Humphry is certainly the north-star to which the needle of her affection would have pointed at the long run. At present, the same vanity is exceedingly mortified, upon finding herself abandoned by her new ...
— The Expedition of Humphry Clinker • Tobias Smollett

... of excitement, Jay conducted himself with remarkable forbearance and dignity. It was the poise of Washington. "The reflection that the majority of electors were for me is a pleasing one," he wrote his wife; "that injustice has taken place does not surprise me, and I hope will not affect you very sensibly. The intelligence found me perfectly prepared for it. ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... gaze so seriously that she blushed before she could recover her poise. He saw his ...
— The Man in Gray • Thomas Dixon

... to flight. So hung the war in balance, as the scales Held by some woman scrupulously just, A spinner; wool and weight she poises nice, Hard-earning slender pittance for her babes,[5] 530 Such was the poise in which the battle hung Till Jove himself superior fame, at length, To Priameian Hector gave, who sprang First through the wall. In lofty sounds that reach'd Their utmost ranks, he call'd on all his host. 535 Now press them, ...
— The Iliad of Homer - Translated into English Blank Verse • Homer

... paddle, and that slight occupation gave me time and thought for the scene. The torches threw a lurid glare upon the exaggerated, semi-nude figures of the giant bronzes on the beaks of the pirogues, their arms raised in the poise of the weapon, each outlined against the darkness of the night, glorious avatars yet of their race that had been so mighty and was so soon to pass from ...
— Mystic Isles of the South Seas. • Frederick O'Brien

... in the orchard. The young bull-finches in their pretty coloured raiment, bustle about among the blossoms, and poise themselves like wire-dancers or tumblers, shaking the twigs and ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. II. • William Wordsworth

... Storm, and led him around to show his action, the connoisseurs took on a critical attitude, an attitude of judgment, exhibited not less in the poise of the head and the serious face than in the holding of the cane and the planting of legs wide apart. And the attitude had a refined nonchalance which professional horsemen scarcely ever attain. Storm could not have ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... never 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 up her ...
— The Gold Trail • Harold Bindloss

... occasion, however inappropriate, was ever lost sight of to advocate its cause; in fact, he was what would nowadays be called most emphatically a crank on that subject, and might not inappropriately be considered a one-ideaed man lacking in the breadth and poise, so necessary to success in the commander of an army in the field. While Buel's Army was in Louisville getting reinforcements and preparing to renew operations against Bragg, I obtained a few days leave of absence and had no end of inquiries on my way home and after arriving ...
— Personal recollections and experiences concerning the Battle of Stone River • Milo S. Hascall

... libertie, [Sidenote: The emperor agreth with king Richard for his ransome. N. Triuet. Matth. Paris.] and appointed what summe he should pay for his ransome, which (as some write) was two hundred thousand markes: other saie that it was but 140 thousand marks of the poise of Cullen weight. But William Paruus, who liued in those daies, affirmeth it was one hundred thousand pounds, and Roger Houeden saith an hundred thousand marks of Cullen poise, to be paid presentlie at the ...
— Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (2 of 6): England (6 of 12) - Richard the First • Raphael Holinshed

... 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 with which he accepted Lanyard's pardonable distrust, his genial assumption of fellowship ...
— The Lone Wolf - A Melodrama • Louis Joseph Vance



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



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