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Title: Suffrage Songs and Verses
Author: Gilman, Charlotte Perkins
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber’s Note


 In this text version of “Suffrage Songs and Verses”:
    words in italics are marked with _underscores_, and
    words in small capitals are shown in UPPERCASE.

 Variant spelling, and inconsistent hyphenation are retained. A very
 few tangible printing errors have been corrected.



  Suffrage Songs and Verses

  By

  CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN


  [Illustration: Winged torch]


  10 Cents

  [Illustration: International Allied Printing Trades Council label
                 11
                 New York
                 1911]

  THE CHARLTON COMPANY
  67 Wall Street, New York
  1911



TABLE OF CONTENTS


                                        PAGE

  Another Star                           23
  Anti-Suffragists. The                  17
  Anti and the Fly. The                  19
  Boys Will Be Boys                       5
  Coming                                  3
  For Fear                                5
  Females                                10
  Girls of To-day                        12
  Housewife. The                          8
  Locked Inside                           3
  Mother to Child                         6
  Malingerer. The                        17
  Now                                     4
  Question. A                             8
  Reassurance                            15
  She Walketh Veiled and Sleeping         1
  She Who Is To Come                     24
  Socialist and the Suffragist. The      16
  Song for Equal Suffrage                22
  To the Indifferent Women               19
  Women of To-day                         4
  Women to Men                           13
  Women Do Not Want It                   21
  Wedded Bliss                            9
  We As Women                            11



NOTE--The poems marked * are from _In This Our World_ by Charlotte
      Perkins Gilman. Copyright, 1898, by Small, Maynard and Co., and
      are reprinted by the kind permission of the publishers. Those
      marked † are from the _Woman’s Journal_, and those marked _f_ are
      from THE FORERUNNER.



SHE WALKETH VEILED AND SLEEPING *


    She walketh veiled and sleeping,
    For she knoweth not her power;
    She obeyeth but the pleading
    Of her heart, and the high leading
    Of her soul, unto this hour.
    Slow advancing, halting, creeping,
    Comes the Woman to the hour!--
    She walketh veiled and sleeping,
    For she knoweth not her power.



COMING f


    Because the time is ripe, the age is ready,
    Because the world her woman’s help demands,
    Out of the long subjection and seclusion
    Come to our field of warfare and confusion
    The mother’s heart and hands.

    Long has she stood aside, endured and waited,
    While man swung forward, toiling on alone;
    Now, for the weary man, so long ill-mated,
    Now, for the world for which she was created,
    Comes woman to her own.

    Not for herself! though sweet the air of freedom;
    Not for herself, though dear the new-born power;
    But for the child, who needs a nobler mother,
    For the whole people, needing one another,
    Comes woman to her hour.



LOCKED INSIDE f


    She beats upon her bolted door,
      With faint weak hands;
    Drearily walks the narrow floor;
    Sullenly sits, blank walls before;
      Despairing stands.

    Life calls her, Duty, Pleasure, Gain--
      Her dreams respond;
    But the blank daylights wax and wane,
    Dull peace, sharp agony, slow pain--
      No hope beyond.

    Till she comes a thought! She lifts her head,
      The world grows wide!
    A voice--as if clear words were said--
    “Your door, O long imprisonéd,
      Is locked inside!”



NOW f


    With God Above--Beneath--Beside--
      Without--Within--and Everywhere;
    Rising with the resistless tide
      Of life, and Sure of Getting There.

    Patient with Nature’s long delay,
      Proud of our conscious upward swing;
    Not sorry for a single day,
      And Not Afraid of Anything!

    With Motherhood at last awake--
      With Power to Do and Light to See--
    Women may now begin to Make
      The People we are Meant to Be!



WOMEN OF TO-DAY *


    You women of today who fear so much
    The women of the future, showing how
    The dangers of her course are such and such--
                What are you now?

    Mothers and Wives and Housekeepers, forsooth!
    Great names, you cry, full scope to rule and please,
    Room for wise age and energetic youth!--
                But are you these?

    Housekeepers? Do you then, like those of yore,
    Keep house with power and pride, with grace and ease?
    No, you keep servants only! What is more--
                You don’t keep these!

    Wives, say you? Wives! Blessed indeed are they
    Who hold of love the everlasting keys,
    Keeping their husbands’ hearts! Alas the day!
                You don’t keep these!

    And mothers? Pitying Heaven! Mark the cry
    From cradle death-beds! Mothers on their knees!
    Why, half the children born, as children, die!
                You don’t keep these!

    And still the wailing babies come and go,
    And homes are waste, and husbands’ hearts fly far;
    There is no hope until you dare to know
                The thing you are!



BOYS WILL BE BOYS f


    “Boys will be boys,” and boys have had their day;
      Boy-mischief and boy-carelessness and noise
    Extenuated all, allowed, excused and smoothed away,
      Each duty missed, each damaging wild act,
      By this meek statement of unquestioned fact--
                    Boys will be boys!

    Now, “women will be women.” Mark the change;
      Calm motherhood in place of boisterous youth;
    No warfare now; to manage and arrange,
      To nurture with wise care, is woman’s way,
      In peace and fruitful industry her sway,
                    In love and truth.



FOR FEAR f


    For fear of prowling beasts at night
      They blocked the cave;
    Women and children hid from sight,
      Men scarce more brave.

    For fear of warrior’s sword and spear
      They barred the gate;
    Women and children lived in fear,
      Men lived in hate.

    For fear of criminals today
      We lock the door;
    Women and children still to stay
      Hid evermore.

    Come out! Ye need no longer hide!
      What fear you now?
    No wolf nor lion waits outside--
      Only a cow.

    Come out! The world approaches peace,
      War nears its end;
    No warrior watches your release--
      Only a friend.

    Come out! The night of crime has fled--
      Day is begun;
    Here is no criminal to dread--
      Only your son.

    The world, half yours, demands your care,
      Waken and come!
    Make it a woman’s world; safe, fair,
      Garden and home.



MOTHER TO CHILD *


    How best can I serve thee, my child! My child!
    Flesh of my flesh and dear heart of my heart!
    Once thou wast within me--I held thee--I fed thee--
    By the force of my loving and longing I led thee--
              Now we are apart!

    I may blind thee with kisses and crush with embracing,
    Thy warm mouth in my neck and our arms interlacing;
    But here in my body my soul lives alone,
    And thou answerest me from a house of thine own--
              That house which I builded!

    Which we builded together, thy father and I;
    In which thou must live, O my darling, and die!
    Not one stone can I alter, one atom relay--
    Not to save or defend thee or help thee to stay--
              That gift is completed!

    How best can I serve thee? O child, if they knew
    How my heart aches with loving! How deep and how true,
    How brave and enduring, how patient, how strong,
    How longing for good and how fearful of wrong,
              Is the love of thy mother!

    Could I crown thee with riches! Surround, overflow thee
    With fame and with power till the whole world should know thee;
    With wisdom and genius to hold the world still,
    To bring laughter and tears, joy and pain, at thy will,
              Still--_thou_ mightst not be happy!

    Such have lived--and in sorrow. The greater the mind
    The wider and deeper the grief it can find.
    The richer, the gladder, the more thou canst feel
    The keen stings that a lifetime is sure to reveal.
              O my child! Must thou suffer?

    Is there no way my life can save thine from a pain?
    Is the love of a mother no possible gain?
    No labor of Hercules--search for the Grail--
    No way for this wonderful love to avail?
              God in Heaven--O teach me!

    My prayer has been answered. The pain thou must bear
    Is the pain of the world’s life which thy life must share.
    Thou art one with the world--though I love thee the best;
    And to save thee from pain I must save all the rest--
              Well--with God’s help I’ll do it.

    Thou art one with the rest. I must love thee in them.
    Thou wilt sin with the rest; and thy mother must stem
    The world’s sin. Thou wilt weep, and thy mother must dry
    The tears of the world lest her darling should cry.
              I will do it--God helping!

    And I stand not alone. I will gather a band
    Of all loving mothers from land unto land.
    Our children are part of the world! Do ye hear?
    They are one with the world--we must hold them all dear!
              Love all for the child’s sake!

    For the sake of my child I must hasten to save
    All the children on earth from the jail and the grave.
    For so, and so only, I lighten the share
    Of the pain of the world that my darling must bear--
              Even so, and so only!



A QUESTION f


    Why is it, God, that mother’s hearts are made
      So very deep and wide?
    How does it help the world that we should hold
    Such welling floods of pain till we are old,
    Because when we were young one grave was laid--
    One baby died?



THE HOUSEWIFE f


    Here is the House to hold me--cradle of all the race;
    Here is my lord and my love, here are my children dear--
    Here is the House enclosing, the dear-loved dwelling place;
    Why should I ever weary for aught that I find not here?

    Here for the hours of the day and the hours of the night;
    Bound with the bands of Duty, rivetted tight;
    Duty older than Adam--Duty that saw
    Acceptance utter and hopeless in the eyes of the serving squaw.

    Food and the serving of food--that is my daylong care;
    What and when we shall eat, what and how we shall wear;
    Soiling and cleaning of things--that is my task in the main--
    Soil them and clean them and soil them--soil them and clean
         them again.

    To work at my trade by the dozen and never a trade to know;
    To plan like a Chinese puzzle--fitting and changing so;
    To think of a thousand details, each in a thousand ways;
    For my own immediate people and a possible love and praise.

    My mind is trodden in circles, tiresome, narrow and hard,
    Useful, commonplace, private--simply a small backyard;
    And I the Mother of Nations!--Blind their struggle and vain!--
    I cover the earth with my children--each with a housewife’s brain.



WEDDED BLISS *


    “O come and be my mate!” said the Eagle to the Hen;

              “I love to soar, but then
              I want my mate to rest
              Forever in the nest!”
              Said the Hen, “I cannot fly,
              I have no wish to try,

    But I joy to see my mate careening through the sky!”
    They wed, and cried, “Ah, this is Love, my own!”
    And the Hen sat, the Eagle soared, alone.

    “O come and be my mate!” said the Lion to the Sheep;

              “My love for you is deep!
              I slay, a Lion should,
              But you are mild and good!”
              Said the sheep, “I do no ill--
              Could not, had I the will--.

    But I joy to see my mate pursue, devour and kill.”
    They wed, and cried, “Ah, this is Love, my own!”
    And the Sheep browsed, the Lion prowled, alone.

    “O come and be my mate!” said the Salmon to the Clam;

              “You are not wise, but I am.
              I know sea and stream as well,
              You know nothing but your shell.”
              Said the Clam, “I’m slow of motion,
              But my love is all devotion,

    And I joy to have my mate traverse lake and stream and ocean!”
    They wed, and cried, “Ah, this is Love, my own!”
    And the Clam sucked, the Salmon swam, alone.



FEMALES *


    The female fox she is a fox;
    The female whale a whale;
    The female eagle holds her place
    As representative of race
    As truly as the male.

    The mother hen doth scratch for her chicks,
    And scratch for herself beside;
    The mother cow doth nurse her calf,
    Yet fares as well as her other half
    In the pasture free and wide.

    The female bird doth soar in air;
    The female fish doth swim;
    The fleet-foot mare upon the course
    Doth hold her own with the flying horse--
    Yea and she beateth him!

    One female in the world we find
    Telling a different tale.
    It is the female of our race,
    Who holds a parasitic place
    Dependent on the male.

    Not so, saith she, ye slander me!
    No parasite am I.
    I earn my living as a wife;
    My children take my very life;
    Why should I share in human strife,
    To plant and build and buy?

    The human race holds highest place
    In all the world so wide,
    Yet these inferior females wive,
    And raise their little ones alive,
    And feed themselves beside.

    The race is higher than the sex,
    Though sex be fair and good;
    A Human Creature is your state,
    And to be human is more great
    Than even womanhood!

    The female fox she is a fox;
    The female whale a whale;
    The female eagle holds her place
    As representative of race
    As truly as the male.



“WE AS WOMEN” *


    There’s a cry in the air about us--
    We hear it before, behind--
    Of the way in which “We, as women,”
    Are going to lift mankind!

    With our white frocks starched and ruffled,
    And our soft hair brushed and curled--
    Hats off! for “We, as women,”
    Are coming to save the world.

    Fair sisters, listen one moment--
    And perhaps you’ll pause for ten:
    The business of women as women
    Is only with men as men!

    What we do, “We, as women,”
    We have done all through our life;
    The work that is ours as women
    Is the work of mother and wife.

    But to elevate public opinion,
    And to lift up erring man,
    Is the work of the Human Being;
    Let us do it--if we can.

    But wait, warm-hearted sisters--
    Not quite so fast, so far.
    Tell me how we are going to lift a thing
    Any higher than we are!

    We are going to “purify politics,”
    And to “elevate the press.”
    We enter the foul paths of the world
    To sweeten and cleanse and bless.

    To hear the high things we are going to do,
    And the horrors of man we tell,
    One would think, “We, as women,” were angels,
    And our brothers were fiends of hell.

    We, that were born of one mother,
    And reared in the self-same place,
    In the school and the church together,
    We of one blood, one race!

    Now then, all forward together!
    But remember, every one,
    That ’tis not by feminine innocence
    The work of the world is done.

    The world needs strength and courage,
    And wisdom to help and feed--
    When, “We, as women” bring these to man,
    We shall lift the world indeed.



GIRLS OF TO-DAY *


    Girls of today! Give ear!
    Never since time began
    Has come to the race of man
    A year, a day, an hour,
    So full of promise and power
    As the time that now is here!

    Never in all the lands
    Was there a power so great,
    To move the wheels of state,
    To lift up body and mind,
    To waken the deaf and blind,
    As the power that is in your hands!

    Here at the gates of gold
    You stand in the pride of youth,
    Strong in courage and truth,
    Stirred by a force kept back
    Through centuries long and black,
    Armed with a power threefold!

    First: You are makers of men!
    Then Be the things you preach!
    Let your own greatness teach!
    When Mothers like this you see
    Men will be strong and free--
    Then, and not till then!

    Second: Since Adam fell,
    Have you not heard it said
    That men by women are led?
    True is the saying--true!
    See to it what you do!
    See that you lead them well.

    Third: You have work of your own!
    Maid and mother and wife,
    Look in the face of life!
    There are duties you owe the race!
    Outside your dwelling-place
    There is work for you alone!

    Maid and mother and wife,
    See your own work be done!
    Be worthy a noble son!
    Help man in the upward way!
    Truly, a girl today
    Is the strongest thing in life!



WOMEN TO MEN †


    Dear father, from my cradle I acknowledge
    All your wise kindness, tender care, and love,
    Through days of kindergarten, school and college.
    Now there is one gift lacking--one above
    All other gifts of God, this highest trust is,
    The one great gift, beyond all power and pelf--
    Give me my freedom, father; give me justice,
    That I may guard my children and myself.

    My brother, you and I were reared together;
    We played together, even-handed quite;
    We went to school in every kind of weather,
    Studied and ranked together as was right.
    We work together now and earn our living,
    You know how equal is the work we do;
    Come, brother, with the love you’re always giving,
    Give justice! It’s for me as well as you.

    And you, my lover, kneeling here before me
    With tender eyes that burn, warm lips that plead,
    Protesting that you worship, aye, adore me;
    Begging my love as life’s supremest meed,
    Vowing to make me happy. Ah, how dare you!
    Freedom and happiness have both one key!
    Lover and husband, by the love I bear you,
    Give justice! I can love you better, free!

    Son my own son! Man-child that once was lying
    All rosy, tender, helpless on my breast,
    Your strength all dimples, your stern voice but crying,
    Looking to me for comfort, food and rest,
    Asking your life of me, and not another--
    And asking not in vain till life be done--
    Oh, my boy-baby! Is it I, your mother,
    Who comes to ask of justice from her son?

    Now to the voter--tax-payer (or shirker),
    Please lay your private feelings on the shelf;
    O Man-at-large! Friend! Comrade! Fellow-worker;
    I am a human being like yourself.
    I’m not your wife and mother. Can’t be, whether
    I would or not: each to his own apart;
    But in the world we’re people altogether--
    Suffrage is not a question of the heart.

    Son--Father--Brother--Lover unsupplanted--
    We’ll talk at home. This thing concerns the nation;
    A point of justice which is to be granted
    By men to women who are no relation.
    Perceive this fact, as salient as a steeple,
    Please try to argue from it if you can;
    Women have standing-room on earth as people
    Outside of their relation to some man.

    As wife and sweetheart, daughter, sister, mother,
    Each woman privately her views explains;
    As people of America--no other--
    We claim the right our government maintains.
    You who deny it stand in history’s pages
    Withholding justice! Pitiless and plain
    Your record stands down all the brightening ages--
    You fought with progress, but you fought in vain.



REASSURANCE *


    Can you imagine nothing better, brother,
    Than that which you have always had before?
    Have you been so content with “wife and mother,”
            You dare hope nothing more?

    Have you forever prized her, praised her, sung her,
    The happy queen of a most happy reign?
    Never dishonored her, despised her, flung her
            Derision and disdain?

    Go ask the literature of all the ages!
    Books that were written before women read!
    Pagan and Christian, satirists and sages--
            Read what the world has said.

    There was no power on earth to bid you slacken
    The generous hand that painted her disgrace!
    There was no shame on earth too black to blacken
            That much-praised woman-face.

    Eve and Pandora!--always you begin it--
    The ancients called her Sin and Shame and Death.
    “There is no evil without woman in it,”
            The modern proverb saith.

    She has been yours in uttermost possession--
    Your slave, your mother, your well-chosen bride--
    And you have owned in million-fold confession,
            You were not satisfied.

    Peace then! Fear not the coming woman, brother.
    Owning herself, she giveth all the more.
    She shall be better woman, wife and mother
            Than man hath known before.



THE SOCIALIST AND THE SUFFRAGIST f


    Said the Socialist to the Suffragist:
      “My cause is greater than yours!
        You only work for a Special Class,
        We for the gain of the General Mass,
      Which every good ensures!”

    Said the Suffragist to the Socialist:
      “You underrate my Cause!
      While women remain a Subject Class,
      You never can move the General Mass,
      With your Economic Laws!”

    Said the Socialist to the Suffragist:
      “You misinterpret facts!
        There is no room for doubt or schism
        In Economic Determinism--
      It governs all our acts!”

    Said the Suffragist to the Socialist:
      “You men will always find
        That this old world will never move
        More swiftly in its ancient groove
      While women stay behind!”

    “A lifted world lifts women up,”
      The Socialist explained.
        “You cannot lift the world at all
        While half of it is kept so small,”
      The Suffragist maintained.

    The world awoke, and tartly spoke:
      “Your work is all the same:
        Work together or work apart,
        Work, each of you, with all your heart--
      Just get into the game!”



THE MALINGERER f


    Exempt! She “does not have to work!”
          So might one talk
    Defending long, bedridden ease,
    Weak yielding ankles, flaccid knees,
          With, “I don’t have to walk!”

    Not have to work. Why not? Who gave
          Free pass to you?
    You’re housed and fed and taught and dressed
    By age-long labor of the rest--
          Work other people do!

    What do you give in honest pay
          For clothes and food?--
    Then as a shield, defence, excuse,
    She offers her exclusive use--
          Her function--Motherhood!

    Is motherhood a trade you make
          A living by?
    And does the wealth you so may use,
    Squander, accumulate, abuse,
          Show motherhood as high?

    Or does the motherhood of those
          Whose toil endures,
    The farmers’ and mechanics’ wives,
    Hard working servants all their lives--
        Deserve less price than yours?

    We’re not exempt! Man’s world runs on,
          Motherless, wild;
    Our servitude and long duress,
    Our shameless, harem idleness,
          Both fail to serve the child.



THE ANTI-SUFFRAGISTS *


    Fashionable women in luxurious homes,
    With men to feed them, clothe them, pay their bills,
    Bow, doff the hat, and fetch the handkerchief;
    Hostess or guest; and always so supplied
    With graceful deference and courtesy;
    Surrounded by their horses, servants, dogs--
    These tell us they have all the rights they want.

    Successful women who have won their way
    Alone, with strength of their unaided arm,
    Or helped by friends, or softly climbing up
    By the sweet aid of “woman’s influence”;
    Successful any way, and caring naught
    For any other woman’s unsuccess--
    These tell us they have all the rights they want.

    Religious women of the feebler sort--
    Not the religion of a righteous world,
    A free, enlightened, upward-reaching world,
    But the religion that considers life
    As something to back out of!--whose ideal
    Is to renounce, submit, and sacrifice,
    Counting on being patted on the head
    And given a high chair when they get to heaven--
    These tell us they have all the rights they want.

    Ignorant women--college bred sometimes,
    But ignorant of life’s realities
    And principles of righteous government,
    And how the privileges they enjoy
    Were won with blood and tears by those before--
    Those they condemn, whose ways they now oppose;
    Saying, “Why not let well enough alone?
    Our world is very pleasant as it is”--
    These tell us they have all the rights they want.

    And selfish women--pigs in petticoats--
    Rich, poor, wise, unwise, top or bottom round,
    But all sublimely innocent of thought,
    And guiltless of ambition, save the one
    Deep, voiceless aspiration--to be fed!
    These have no use for rights or duties more.
    Duties today are more than they can meet,
    And law insures their right to clothes and food--
    These tell us they have all the rights they want.

    And, more’s the pity, some good women, too;
    Good, conscientious women with ideas;
    Who think--or think they think--that woman’s cause
    Is best advanced by letting it alone;
    That she somehow is not a human thing,
    And not to be helped on by human means,
    Just added to humanity--an “L”--
    A wing, a branch, an extra, not mankind--
    These tell us they have all the rights they want.

    And out of these has come a monstrous thing,
    A strange, down-sucking whirlpool of disgrace,
    Women uniting against womanhood,
    And using that great name to hide their sin!
    Vain are their words as that old king’s command
    Who set his will against the rising tide.
    But who shall measure the historic shame
    Of these poor traitors--traitors are they all--
    To great Democracy and Womanhood!



THE “ANTI” AND THE FLY f


    The fly upon the Cartwheel
      Thought he made all the Sound;
    He thought he made the Cart go on--
      And made the wheels go round.

    The Fly upon the Cartwheel
      Has won undying fame
    For Conceit that was colossal,
      And Ignorance the same.

    But today he has a Rival
      As we roll down History’s Track--
    For the “Anti” on the Cartwheel
      Thinks she makes the Wheels go back!



TO THE INDIFFERENT WOMEN *

A SESTINA


    You who are happy in a thousand homes,
    Or overworked therein, to a dumb peace;
    Whose souls are wholly centered in the life
    Of that small group you personally love--
    Who told you that you need not know or care
    About the sin and sorrow of the world?

    Do you believe the sorrow of the world
    Does not concern you in your little homes?
    That you are licensed to avoid the care
    And toil for human progress, human peace,
    And the enlargement of our power of love
    Until it covers every field of life?

    The one first duty of all human life
    Is to promote the progress of the world
    In righteousness, in wisdom, truth and love;
    And you ignore it, hidden in your homes,
    Content to keep them in uncertain peace,
    Content to leave all else without your care.

    Yet you are mothers! And a mother’s care
    Is the first step towards friendly human life,
    Life where all nations in untroubled peace
    Unite to raise the standard of the world
    And make the happiness we seek in homes
    Spread everywhere in strong and fruitful love.

    You are content to keep that mighty love
    In its first steps forever; the crude care
    Of animals for mate and young and homes,
    Instead of pouring it abroad in life,
    Its mighty current feeding all the world
    Till every human child shall grow in peace.

    You cannot keep your small domestic peace,
    Your little pool of undeveloped love,
    While the neglected, starved, unmothered world
    Struggles and fights for lack of mother’s care,
    And its tempestuous, bitter, broken life
    Beats in upon you in your selfish homes.

    We all may have our homes in joy and peace
    When woman’s life, in its rich power of love
    Is joined with man’s to care for all the world.



WOMEN DO NOT WANT IT *


    When the woman suffrage argument first stood upon its legs,
    They answered it with cabbages, they answered it with eggs,
    They answered it with ridicule, they answered it with scorn,
    They thought it a monstrosity that should not have been born.

    When the woman suffrage argument grew vigorous and wise,
    And was not to be answered by these opposite replies,
    They turned their opposition into reasoning severe
    Upon the limitations of our God-appointed sphere.

    We were told of disabilities--a long array of these,
    Till one could think that womanhood was merely a disease;
    And “the maternal sacrifice” was added to the plan
    Of the various sacrifices we have always made--to man.

    Religionists and scientists, in amity and bliss,
    However else they disagreed, could all agree on this,
    And the gist of all their discourse, when you got down in it,
    Was--we could not have the ballot because we were not fit!

    They would not hear the reason, they would not fairly yield,
    They would not own their arguments were beaten in the field;
    But time passed on, and someway, we need not ask them how,
    Whatever ails those arguments--we do not hear them now!

    You may talk of suffrage now with an educated man,
    And he agrees with all you say, as sweetly as he can:
    ’T would be better for us all, of course, if womanhood was free;
    But “the women do not want it”--and so it must not be!

    ’T is such a tender thoughtfulness! So exquisite a care!
    Not to pile on our frail shoulders what we do not wish to bear!
    But, oh, most generous brother! Let us look a little more--
    Have we women always wanted what you gave to us before?

    Did we ask for veils and harems in the Oriental races?
    Did we beseech to be “unclean,” shut out of sacred places?
    Did we beg for scolding bridles and ducking stools to come?
    And clamor for the beating stick no thicker than your thumb?

    Did we ask to be forbidden from all the trades that pay?
    Did we claim the lower wages for a man’s full work today?
    Have we petitioned for the laws wherein our shame is shown:
    That not a woman’s child--nor her own body--is her own?

    What women want has never been a strongly acting cause,
    When woman has been wronged by man in churches, customs, laws;
    Why should he find this preference so largely in his way,
    When he himself admits the right of what we ask today?



SONG FOR EQUAL SUFFRAGE †


    Day of hope and day of glory! After slavery and woe,
    Comes the dawn of woman’s freedom, and the light shall grow and grow
    Until every man and woman equal liberty shall know,
              In Freedom marching on!

    Woman’s right is woman’s duty! For our share in life we call!
    Our will it is not weakened and our power it is not small.
    We are half of every nation! We are mothers of them all!
              In Wisdom marching on!

    Not for self but larger service has our cry for freedom grown,
    There is crime, disease and warfare in a world of men alone,
    In the name of love we’re rising now to serve and save our own,
              As Peace comes marching on!

    By every sweet and tender tie around our heartstrings curled,
    In the cause of nobler motherhood is woman’s flag unfurled,
    Till every child shall know the joy and peace of mother’s world--
              As Love comes marching on!

    We will help to make a pruning hook of every outgrown sword,
    We will help to knit the nations in continuing accord,
    In humanity made perfect is the glory of the Lord,
              As His world goes marching on!



ANOTHER STAR f

(Suffrage Campaign Song for California)

TUNE: “Buy a Broom.”


    There are five a-light before us,
    In the flag flying o’er us,
    There’ll be six on next election--
          We bring a new star!
    We are coming like the others,
    Free Sisters, Free Brothers,
    In the pride of our affection
          For California.
    CHORUS: A ballot for the Lady!
    For the Home and for the Baby!
    Come, vote ye for the Lady,
          The Baby, the Home!

    Star of Hope and Star of Beauty!
    Of Freedom! Of Duty!
    Star of childhood’s new protection,
          That rises so high!
    We will work for it together
    In the golden, gay weather,
    And we’ll have it next election,
          Or we will know why.
    CHORUS: A ballot for the Lady!
    For the Home and for the Baby!
    Come, vote ye for the Lady,
    The Baby, the Home!



SHE WHO IS TO COME *


    A woman--in so far as she beholdeth
      Her one Beloved’s face;
    A mother--with a great heart that enfoldeth
      The children of the Race;
    A body, free and strong, with that high beauty
      That comes of perfect use, is built thereof;
    A mind where Reason ruleth over Duty,
      And Justice reigns with Love;
    A self-poised, royal soul, brave, wise and tender,
      No longer blind and dumb;
    A Human Being, of an unknown splendor,
      Is she who is to come!



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