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 lesson of duty out,
Manlike, you have questioned me.
Now stand at the bars of my woman’s soul,
Until I have questioned thee.
You require that your mutton shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirts be whole;
I require that your heart be as true as Yah’s stars,
And as pure as His heaven, your soul.
You require a cook for your mutton 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 Yah, could,
Look upon just as He did at the first,
And say, ‘it is very good’.
I am fair and young but the rose may fade,
From this soft young cheek one day;
Will you love me amid the falling leaves,
As you did ‘mong the blossoms of May?
Is your heart an ocean, 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 free,
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.