I’m pardoned out, ah God! to roam
Like some whipped dog among my kind.
I have no friends, I have no home,
Save these bleak walls I leave behind.
How can I face the world of men,
My comrades in the days of yore?
Oh! hide me in my cell again,
And, warden, lock the door.
Oh, vain is the stern protesting
Of winds, when the tide runs high;
And vainly the deep-sea waters
Call out, as the waves speed by;
For, deaf to the claim of the ocean,
To the threat of the loud winds dumb,
Past reef and bar, to shores afar,
They rush when the hour is come.
Vainly the tempest thunders,
Of unsexed waves that roam,
Away from the mid-sea calmness,
Where Nature made their home.
For the voice of the great Moon-Mother,
Has spoken and said, ‘Be free.’
And the tide must go to the strong full flow,
In the time of the perigee.
So vain is the cry of the masters,
And vain the plea of the hearth;
As the ranks of the strange New Woman
Go sweeping across the earth.
They have come from hall and hovel,
They have pushed through door and gate;
On the world’s highway they are crowded to-day,
For the hour is the hour of fate.
Many are hurt in the crowding,
The light of the home burns dim;
And man is aghast at the changes,
Though all can be traced to him.
They sat too long at the hearthstone,
And sat too oft alone:
And the silence spoke, and their souls awoke,
And now they must claim their own.
Let no man hope to hinder,
Let no man bid them pause:
They are moved by a hidden purpose,
They follow resistless laws.
And out of the wreck and chaos
Of the order that used to be,
A strong new race shall take its place
In a world we are yet to see.
Oh, ever has man been leader,
Yet failed as woman’s guide.
It is better that she step forward,
And take her place at his side.
For only from greater woman,
May come the greater man,
Through life’s long quest they should walk abreast —
As was meant by the primal plan.
To each progressive soul there comes a day
When all things that have pleased and satisfied
Grow flavourless, the springs of joy seem dried.
No more the waters of youth’s fountains play;
Yet out of reach, tiptoeing as they may,
The more mature and higher pleasures hide.
Life, like a careless nurse, fails to provide
New toys for those the soul has cast away.
Upon a strange land’s border all alone,
Awhile it stands dismayed and desolate.
Nude too, since its old garments are outgrown;
Till clothed with strength befitting its estate,
It grasps at length those raptures that are known
To souls who learn to labour, and to wait.