A Man’s Reply
Yes, I have asked for a priceless thing,
For a gem beyond all compare,
With which all the richest mountains of earth
Nor the ocean can compare.
But have I come with empty hands?
In return have I offered naught?
Can a man bring more to the woman he loves
Than I unto you have brought?
No seamstress or cook have I sought,
For they can be hired, I ween;
Naught have I said of mutton or shirt,
I want and must have a Queen.
You say that you want a man and a King,
A very Prince of the race;
I look for a kind and generous heart,
And not a queenly face.
You require all things that are good and true,
All things that a man should be;
I ask for a woman, with all that implies,
And that is sufficient for me.
I ask for a woman, made as of old,
A higher form of man;
His comforter, helper, adviser, and friend,
As in the original plan.
A woman who has an aim in life,
Who finds life worth the living;
Who makes the world better for being here,
And for others her life is giving.
To be all that a man should be
Shall be my aim in life;
To love but me and only me,
Is all that I ask of my wife.
For your heart and life and wonderful love
Are sacred things to me,
And I’ll stake my life to be to you
Whatever I ought to be.
Thus, at the bar of your woman’s soul
I have stood and answered thee;
And again, I ask for that priceless thing —
Say, what shall the answer be?