A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.


One Woman's Voice Against War

The voice of my sisters I hear (Oh voice of the summer leaves!
Oh voice of the murmuring waters! Oh, light if it laughs or it grieves!)
They are sending you forth, O men; they are bidding you arm straightway;
But they see not, as I can see, men biting the dust in the fray,
They see not, as I can see, men pouring the blood of the brave--
And the craven, at home, survives, while the hero sleeps in his grave!
They see not, as I can see--that their daughters' daughters shall wed
With the sons of the craven, born of the blood too pale to be shed!
They see not, the money-changers unscourged in the temple remain,
When those that were fearless to strike--the best of the nation are slain;
For the veins of a race once shrunken, the hearts of the race beat low,
And the valor we worshipped--a flame unfed--no longer shall glow!

The voice of my sisters I hear: "We offer our dearest, our all,
Father, and brother, and lover, for country, if need be, to fall!
What more can we pledge than we pledge--as daughters, as sisters, as wives?"
Let the voice of my sisters be mute, for they hold their inviolate lives!
Not a hair of their heads shall be stirred by the wind of the winnowing shot;
They shall not languish in prison, nor in the dull earth be forgot!
One is the life of each mortal--and that is not theirs, which they yield!
Let them be hushed to remember the breast of the man is their shield:
Not till her life she shall peril on battle's shivering edge,
The soul of a woman shall waken, to know how costly the pledge!

The voice of my sisters forgive! Forgive them, ye men who are theirs;
For they know not the words they utter, sending ye forth, though with prayers.
I have none of my own to send forth; but, for swordmen doomed to the sword,
Tears were my daily drink, were the blood of the meanest out-poured!
Awake, or asleep, I should see the dark stream with the life taking flight--
The damp of the death-dew beading--the eye without vision or light!
My sisters--they see not the sight, or their lips would be holden of speech,
And the voice of their hearts, ever sleepless, for "peace," and but "peace!" would beseech.

by: Edith Matilda Thomas (1854-1925)

No comments:

Post a Comment