|ELCore.Net > Poetry > Catholic Poets > Poems of Alice Meynell|
|A Father of Women|
|Ad Sororem E.B.|
|“Thy father was transused into they blood.”|
Dryden: Ode to Mrs. Anne Killigrew.
Our father works in us, |
The daughters of his manhood. Not undone
Is he, not wasted, though transmuted thus,
And though he left no son.
Therefore on him I cry |
To arm me: “For my delicate mind a casque,
A breastplate for my heart, courage to die,
Of thee, captain, I ask.
“Nor strengthen only; press |
A finger on this violent blood and pale,
Over this rash will let thy tenderness
A while pause, and prevail.
“And shepherd-father, thou |
Whose staff folded my thoughts before my birth,
Control them now I am of earth, and now
Thou art no more of earth.
“O liberal, constant, dear, |
Crush in my nature the ungenerous art
Of the inferior; set me high, and here,
Here garner up thy heart!”
Like to him now are they, |
The million living fathers of the War
Mourning the crippled world, the bitter day
Whose striplings are no more.
The crippled world! Come then, |
Fathers of women with your honour in trust;
Approve, accept, know them daughters of men,
Now that your sons are dust.
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Created April 9, 2001; not revised.