Whatever a man may think or feel
He can tell to the world and it hears aright:
But it bids the woman conceal, conceal,
And woe to the thoughts that at last ignite.
She may serve up gossip or dwell on fashion,
Or play the critic with speech unkind,
But alas for the woman who speaks with passion,
For the world is blind--for the world is blind.
It is woman who sits with her starved desire,
And drinks to sorrow in cups of tears:
She reads by the light of her soul on fire
The secrets of love through lonely years:
But out of all she has felt or heard
Or read by the glow of her soul's white flame,
If she dare but utter aloud one word--
How the world cries shame--how the world cries shame.
It cannot distinguish between the glow
Of a gleaming star, in the sky of gold,
Or a spent cigar in the dust below--
'Twixt unclad Eve, or a wanton bold;
And ever if woman speaks what she feels
(And feels consistent with God's great plan),
It has cast her under its juggernaut wheels,
Since the world began--since the world began.
Poems of sentiment by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago, IL : W. B. Conkey Company, c1906.
|Back to Poem Index|