The Old Suffragist

She could have loved—her woman-passions beat
    Deeper than theirs, or else she had not known
How to have dropped her heart beneath their feet
    A living stepping-stone:

The little hands—did they not clutch her heart?
    The guarding arms—was she not very tired?
Was it an easy thing to walk apart,
    Unresting, undesired?

She gave away her crown of woman-praise,
    Her gentleness and silent girlhood grace,
To be a merriment for idle days,
    Scorn for the market-place:

She strove for an unvisioned, far-off good,
    For one far hope she knew she could not see:
These—not her daughters—crowned with motherhood
    And love and beauty—free.

More by Margaret Widdemer

To a Young Girl at a Window

The Poor Old Soul plods down the street,
        Contented, and forgetting
How Youth was wild, and Spring was wild
        And how her life is setting;

And you lean out to watch her there,
        And pity, nor remember,
That Youth is hard, and Life is hard,
        And quiet is December. 

If You Should Tire of Loving Me

If you should tire of loving me
Some one of our far days,
Oh, never start to hide your heart
Or cover thought with praise.

For every word you would not say
Be sure my heart has heard,
So go from me all silently
Without a kiss or word;

For God must give you happiness…
And oh, it may befall
In listening long to Heaven-song
I may not care at all!

Old Wine

If I could lift
    My heart but high enough
    My heart could fill with love:

But ah, my heart
    Too still and heavy stays
    Too brimming with old days.