― 112 ―

The Recantation

(With casual compliments to the Woman Movement.)

The searchlight of biology on the sex question has revealed the fact that the female is the primary or root sex, of which the male is a projection or secondary extension as it were, created by the primary sex probably in the interests of division of labour and the better service of the race. Will the female biologist of the far future trace with a graphic pen the gradual but deliberate extinction of the creature of her sex experiment?

GREY with the grief of the world and supremely alone,
Wise with the wisdom of patient and terrible power,
Weary am I of the love and the faith that devour!
Weary of Calvaries climbed, cruel stone by red stone!

I am immutable Motherhood, grim as the grave,
Old as the hills and the sea and the quickening spark;
Life that I bore from the sunless and beingless dark,
I have grown weary of giving and gift that I gave!

Up from the slime and the cave and the murk of despair,
Mouthing its portents and taking its pitiless toll,
Heedless of self, lifting Godward the burden I bare
Up to the sunshine and starshine of Infinite Soul.

Building by night and by day till my fainting soul reeled
Back from the blinding white flame of the vision it saw,
This, my own creature, unspotted by error or flaw,
This my own vision of postulant godhead revealed!

Glory that mocked me, mirage-like, and faded afar,
Temple of purpose that crumbled to coruscant sand,
Systems above you shall rise 'neath my puissant hand,
Edens undreamed of illumine Saharas that are!

  ― 113 ―
Desert of ages that stretches unheeded behind,
Sand through my fingers you trickled in tremulous shower,
Growth of my sweat and my blood was your pride and your power,
Bone of my bone are your skeletons white in the wind!

Rocked in my cradling lap was your palpitant clay,
Nineveh, Babylon, Rome, 'neath the centuries' dust
Under my chariot wheels I have humbled your lust,
Over your dust I am heaping the dust of To-day!

Creature of mine for an hour in the æons that fly,
Flesh of my flesh and desire of my passionate soul;
Flax to the flame of my being's inscrutable goal
You in your fugitive splendour must wither and die!

Lust that took licence of passion and sullied its flood,
Folly that made of my purpose a pestilent jest,
Lo! the stigmata ye veiled with obscenity's vest!—
Footsteps of Deity printed in blasphemous blood!

Patient, aye, patient with patience of terrible power,
Yea, I have smiled on your vauntings and pitied your pride;
Smiled while you strutted your tinselled and tyrannous hour,
Knowing how soon I must sweep you for ever aside!

I am immutable Motherhood, grim as the grave,
Old as the hills and the sea and the quickening spark,
Back, I say! back to the sunless and beingless dark!
I have grown weary of giving and gift that I gave!