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  ― 159 ―

The Power Behind the Throne

You ask me to take up my pen, and stain
The snowy whiteness of these virgin pages;
If I comply, repentance then were vain,
For words, once written, may endure for ages.
Yet to refuse, is harder still to do,
If my refusal must be made to you.

I could refuse a wish by man expressed,
Though the refusal might our friendship sever;
But when a woman proffers a request,
Man must comply, or hide his head for ever.
In Adam's time, a woman had her will,
The case is still the same, she has it still.

Our rulers, statesmen, potentates and kings,
Lords, dukes, and judges, mighty in their stations,



  ― 160 ―
May seem to rule and govern earthly things,
And by a word decide the fate of nations.
But, draw the veil! unmasked our rulers stand,
Lo! each is guided by a woman's hand.

Then, mighty woman! since the power you have,
Which like the fabled wand of the magician,
Enables you to render man your slave,
And bring the mightiest warrior to submission,
Be merciful to your poor servant, man,
And use your power as gently as you can!

As maid, or mother, sister, bride or wife,
Be true and kind, affectionate and tender;
The lover, husband, son, will turn through life,
To you for counsel none but you can render;
Great are your powers, and great your duties are,
For some man lives, whose life you'll make or mar.

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