April 17, 2014

"A Woman’s Question" by: Lena Lathrop



Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing
Ever made by the hand above?
A woman’s heart, and a woman’s life—
And a woman’s wonderful love.

Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing
As a child might ask for a toy?
Demanding what others have died to win,
With the reckless dash of a boy.

You have written my duty out,
Manlike, you have questioned me.
Now stand at the bars of my woman’s soul
Until I shall question thee.

You require your dinner shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirt be whole;
I require your heart be true as God’s stars
And as pure as His heaven, your soul.

You require a cook for your chicken and beef,
I require a far greater thing;
A seamstress you’re wanting for socks and shirts—
I look for a man and a king.

A king for the beautiful realm called home,
And a man that his Maker, God
Shall look upon as He did the first
And say: “It is very good.”

I am fair and young, but the rose may fade
From this soft young cheek some day;
Will you love me then ‘mid falling leaves,
As you did ‘mong the blossom of May?

Is your heart an ocean so strong and true,
I may launch my all on its tide.
A loving woman finds heaven or hell
On the day she is made a bride.

I require all things that are grand and true,
All things that a man should be;
If you give this all, I would stake my life
To be all you demand of me.

If you cannot be this, a laundress and cook
You can hire and little to pay,
But a woman’s heart and a woman’s life
Are not to be won that way.