― 71 ―


  A Reply

“GOD be sorry for women?” Nay, singer and sister woman,
Sing the woman Triumphant!—“the face turned from the clod”—
Wave of the mystical ocean, thro' season and changing season,
Intoning its grand Te Deum on cosmical bars of God!

Sing the Woman Triumphant!—queen-sibyl from morn primeval—
Lo! at her nod swung open the portals of Birth and Breath,
Fear and the anguish of Fear 'neath her naked feet she has trodden
As Over-mistress of Sorrow—derider of dominant Death.

Wherefore shall God be sorry? or hearts that are wise in women
Pity the shimmering splendour, the woman-waves of His sea,
Pity the tremulous tides in the flood of their Godward setting
To the scintillant, white soul-beaches whose sands are Eternity?

God be sorry for woman? that men for their sport defile her?
Lo! to the dark she has flung them, pilotless, rudderless, blind,
For prey to the shark-toothed foes of their vanity's vile creations;
To reap the wrath of the whirlwind where laughing they sowed the wind.

  ― 72 ―
Dare man be sorry for God? As the sky to the hills thereunder,
As the sea in its ebbing and flowing, Creation's image she stands—
Strength with a mask of softness, wisdom with meekness hidden,
Serpent and dove commingled, with the torch of God in her hands.

Yea! Sing the Woman Triumphant! no dirge but a march eternal,
Tabor and clash of cymbals and homage of waving palms!
Diapason of life-tides throbbing! Look, weary one, doubting sister,
'Tis Mary of Nazareth passes—with the infant Christ in her arms.