They are as brave as any man who goes
Forward to face our foes
On battle fronts. These women of each land,
Who proudly take their stand
And with no protest, face and not shirk
The unaccustomed work,
Which helps the Ship of State to ride the wave
With banners flying: Brave
As any soldier at the Front, I say,
    These women are who do men's work to-day.

The warriors of the world could not be fed,
Or clothed, or comforted;
The nations could not carry on their toil
Did they not till the soil,
And keep the wheels of action moving on.
These women from whose homes the men have gone--
Husbands and fathers, brothers, sons, to fight
In this great cause of justice and of right
    Against inhuman might.

Theirs are the wounds no medicine can heal.
The anguish that they feel
May not be uttered: with a smiling face
Each fills her lonely place,
And sends a cheering message over seas.
Oh, it is such as these
Who give the radiance of an oriflamme
To sanctify the name
Of womanhood! Unto this noble throng
Honour and praise and gratitude belong.
    Low at their feet I lay my leaf of song.

Poems of affection. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1920.

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