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Best Famous Julia Ward Howe Poems

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by Julia Ward Howe | |

Mother Mind

 I never made a poem, dear friend--
I never sat me down, and said,
This cunning brain and patient hand
Shall fashion something to be read.
Men often came to me, and prayed I should indite a fitting verse For fast, or festival, or in Some stately pageant to rehearse.
(As if, than Balaam more endowed, I of myself could bless or curse.
) Reluctantly I bade them go, Ungladdened by my poet-mite; My heart is not so churlish but Its loves to minister delight.
But not a word I breathe is mine To sing, in praise of man or God; My Master calls, at noon or night, I know his whisper and his nod.
Yet all my thoyghts to rhythms run, To rhyme, my wisdom and my wit? True, I consume my life in verse, But wouldst thou know how that is writ? 'T is thus--through weary length of days, I bear a thought within my breast That greatens from my growth of soul, And waits, and will not be expressed.
It greatens, till its hour has come, Not without pain, it sees the light; 'Twixt smiles and tears I view it o'er, And dare not deem it perfect, quite.
These children of my soul I keep Where scarce a mortal man may see, Yet not unconsecrate, dear friend, Baptismal rites they claim of thee.

by Julia Ward Howe | |

Coquette et Froide

 What is thy thought of me?
What is thy feeling?
Lov'st thou the veil of sense,
Or its revealing?
Leav'st thou the maiden rose
Drooping and blushing,
Or rend'st its bosom with
Kissing and crushing?
I would be beautiful
That thou should'st woo me,
Gentle, delightsome, but 
To draw thee to me.
Yet should thy longing eye Ever caress me, And quickened Fantasy Only, possess me, Thus thy heart's highest need Long would I cherish, Lest its more trivial wish Pall, and then perish.
Would that Love's fond pursuit Were crownèd never, Or that his virgin kiss Lasted for ever!

by Julia Ward Howe | |

Mothers Day Proclamation

 Arise then.
women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts! Whether your baptism be of water or of tears! Say firmly: "We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, Will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
" From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with Our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
" Blood does not wipe our dishonor, Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil At the summons of war, Let women now leave all that may be left of home For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means Whereby the great human family can live in peace.
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, But of God - In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask That a general congress of women without limit of nationality, May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient And the earliest period consistent with its objects, To promote the alliance of the different nationalities, The amicable settlement of international questions, The great and general interests of peace.

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