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Any Woman

 I am the pillars of the house;
The keystone of the arch am I.
Take me away, and roof and wall Would fall to ruin me utterly.
I am the fire upon the hearth, I am the light of the good sun, I am the heat that warms the earth, Which else were colder than a stone.
At me the children warm their hands; I am their light of love alive.
Without me cold the hearthstone stands, Nor could the precious children thrive.
I am the twist that holds together The children in its sacred ring, Their knot of love, from whose close tether No lost child goes a-wandering.
I am the house from floor to roof, I deck the walls, the board I spread; I spin the curtains, warp and woof, And shake the down to be their bed.
I am their wall against all danger, Their door against the wind and snow, Thou Whom a woman laid in a manger, Take me not till the children grow!

by Katharine Tynan
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