A Woman’s Question
Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing
Ever made by the hand above?
A woman’s heart, and a woman’s life,
And a woman’s wonderful love.
Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing
As a child might ask for a toy?
Demanding what others have died to win,
With the reckless dash of a boy?
You have written my lesson of duty out,
Manlike, you have questioned me;
Now stand at the door of my woman’s soul
Until I shall question thee.
You require your mutton shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirt be whole;
I require your heart be as true as God’s stars,
And as pure as His heaven your soul.
You require a cook for your mutton and beef;
I require a far greater thing;
A seamstress you’re wanting for socks and shirts—
I look for a man and a king.
A king for the beautiful realm called Home,
And a man that his Maker, God,
Shall look upon as He did on the first
And say: “It is very good.”
I am fair and young, but the roses will fade
From my soft young cheek one day;
Will you love me then, ‘mid the falling leaves
As you did ‘mid the bloom of May?
Is your heart an ocean so wide and deep
I may launch my all on its tide?
A loving woman finds heaven or hell
On the day she is made a bride.
I require all things that are grand and true,
All things that a man should be;
If you give this all, I would stake my life
To be all you demand of me.
If you cannot do this, a laundress and cook
You can hire with little pay;
But a woman’s heart and a woman’s life
Are not to be won that way.
– Mary T. Lathrop