And still my brain with fancies strange was teeming,
Not real--oh no! for I was only dreaming;
Man helpless seemed, while women played their pranks,
Rode, raced, talked politics, and set up banks.
I tried my very best my wife to please;
But still, a button gone from her chemise,
A garment torn, or hole in an old stocking,
And she would scold me in a manner shocking.
I told her how our little girl lay groaning
By fever parched, of our poor babe moaning
Upon my lap--how tired I was of nursing!
When she, excited, did some awful cursing.
She called me a tormentor, most provoking--
Fretful and discontented, always croaking;
Said cruel things to harass and to grieve me,
Then took her hat, and swore that she would leave me.
Michael, the cook, was impudent; while Terry,
The babe, neglected, passed his time with Jerry,
The chamberboy, and I was so tormented;
And yet my wife would bid me be contented.
A trotting horse she kept--could row a boat
In Oxford style, and had the right to vote;
Talked much of justice, law, and common sense,
And understood the art of self-defence.
My wife was always present at the races;
Gazed at the men, admired their pretty faces;
Bet freely on her nag, and always lost
Drank, smoked, and never stayed to count the cost.
|I though I heard an earnest woman pleading|
For a poor, weeping prisoner interceding--
Demanding, too, in tones loud and defiant,
Mercy for her poor, weak, and trembling client.
Guilty! Not so, she said, his face doth plead,
The bugle-call her martial spirit rouses;
In padded coat and military trousers
She passed the day in drilling, marching, firing,
While men looked on half frightened, half admiring.
When drums and trumpets summoned her to duty,
She turned her back on home, and love, and beauty;
"Husband," she said, "now prove yourself a true man;"
Then she marched out to fight just like a woman.
|[P.63]Man should be chaste, and quiet, and industrious;|
Woman majestic, powerful, and illustrious.
Contentment is the gem that proves the true man,
While strength and dignity become a woman.
|Men are not strong, and toil seems made for woman;|
Man can not share it; no, 'tis deemed inhuman.
Charmed by his sweet angelic disposition,
They guard him from wrong and imposition.
|Jane called, the mother stared, and then inquired|
(As though she did not know) what she desired;
"I love your son," she answered, "and would marry."
"Go do it then," said she, "and do not tarry."
|"Woman," I said, "Leave off cigars and cursing;|
Look at your gentle husbands, see them nursing
Your little babes, still uncomplaining, meek,
And they so fragile, and so weak."
|The train had left; I saw a man belated,|
And all alone the timid creature waited;
While well-dressed misses, impudent and daring,
Alarmed him by their naughty looks and staring.