The Cry of the Revolting Daughters.
Observer, Volume XIV, Issue 797, 7 April 1894, Page 17
The Cry of the Revolting Daughters.
Do you hear the daughters crying, oh you mothers, Does it thunder in your ears ? They are eluimiDg to be equal with their brothers, And where will they stop — poor dears ? The young lambs are safe * ithin the meadows, The young birds sit tight within the nest, The yoong fawns know nothing of life's shadows, The young flowers need tending like the rest, But the old-young daughters, oh you mothers, They are crying bitterly ; They are crying for the freedom of their brothers To go out on the spree.
They look up with oppressed and pallid faces, And are mad as mad can be : For man's cruel tyranny effaces The divine equality. ' This slow pace,' they say ' is very dreary ; Our younff feet are very far from weak ; Of labours in the household we are weary ; And husbands— they are very far to seek. We are grown-up people quite now, and no children, Yet the world to us is cold ; And we cannot see, in spite of much bebewilHering, Where we differ from the old.'
Alas ! alas ! the daughters,— they are seekin 1 What 'twere better not to have. Into bifurcated raiment they are sneaking. _ And their heads Ihey wish to Bhave. Go forth, daughters, if you will, into the city; Shout and wanton as the little masherß do; lieap your harvest of wild oats, nor count it pity ; Laugh at risks, and trust to luck to pull you through. Soon you'll answer that the wild oats of . the gutter Are like deadly weedß that twine ; And you'll much prefer your bread and butter To the fumes of Circe's wine.
Yet may well the daughters act before them All the clamour and the fun. They know hot the hollowness, the boredom, Or the things they ought to shun. They see the sins of man, without his sorrow : They emulate man's stride without his strength ; Are rakes -without the headache of the morrow, Are libertines— within a tether's length. Are old in thought, bnt in experience soothly A narrow path judiciously they keep ; And when their aspirations run unsmoothly Why, they weep ! Why, they weep !
They look at you with pallid sullen faces, But their sentiments are worst ; For they tell you that the devils in their places Are not more confined or curst. ' How long ?' they say. ' How long, ah ! Mother Grnndy, Will you trample where our bosom thrills and springs, Make our life one long perpetual mounful Sunday, Keep us tied beneath our mother's apron strings ?' They cry aloud on King and crossingsweeper, 1 Te shall also bear our ban ! For, though slavery is hard, what galls us deeper Is the liberty of man.'
Pall Mall Budget,
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