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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 66 pages of information about Verses.

     The right of a rose to bloom
       In its own sweet, separate way,
     With none to question the perfumed pink
       And none to utter a nay
 If it reaches a root or points, a thorn, as even a rose-tree may.

     The right of the lady-birch to grow,
       To grow as the Lord shall please,
     By never a sturdy oak rebuked,
       Denied nor sun nor breeze,
 For all its pliant slenderness, kin to the stronger trees.

     The right to a life of my own,—­
       Not merely a casual bit
     Of somebody else’s life, flung out
       That, taking hold of it,
 I may stand as a cipher does after a numeral writ.

     The right to gather and glean
       What food I need and can
     From the garnered store of knowledge
       Which man has heaped for man,
 Taking with free hands freely and after an ordered plan.

     The right—­ah, best and sweetest!—­
       To stand all undismayed
     Whenever sorrow or want or sin
       Call for a woman’s aid,
 With none to call or question, by never a look gainsaid.

     I do not ask for a ballot;
       Though very life were at stake,
     I would beg for the nobler justice
       That men for manhood’s sake
 Should give ungrudgingly, nor withhold till I must fight and take.

     The fleet foot and the feeble foot
       Both seek the self-same goal,
     The weakest soldier’s name is writ
       On the great army-roll,
 And God, who made man’s body strong, made too the woman’s soul

SOLSTICE.

I.

 I sit at evening’s scented close,
   In fulness of the summer-tide;
 All dewy fair the lily glows,
 No single petal of the row;
   Has fallen to dim the rose’s pride.

 Sweet airs, sweet harmonies of hue,
   Surround, caress me everywhere;
 The spells of dusk, the spells of dew,
 My senses steal, my reason woo,
   And sing a lullaby to tare,

 But vainly do the warm airs sing,
   All vain the roses’ rapturous breath;
 A chill blast, as from wintry wing,
 Smites on my heart, and, shuddering,
   I see the beauty changed to death.

 Afar I see it loom and rise,
   That pitiless and icy shape. 
 It blots the blue, it dims the skies;
 Amid the summer land it cries,
   “I come, and there is no escape!”

 O, bitter drop in bloom and sweet! 
   O, canker on the smiling day! 
 Have we but climbed the hill to meet
 Thy fronting fare, thy eyes of sleet? 
   To hate, yet dare not turn away?

II.

 I sit beneath a leaden sky,
   Amid the piled and drifted snow;
 My feet are on the graves where lie
 The roses which made haste to die
   So long, so very long ago.

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