Published on Academy of American Poets (

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.


This poem is in the public domain.


Margaret Widdemer

Margaret Widdemer was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania in 1884. In 1919, she won the Pulitzer Prize, then known as the Columbia University Prize, for her 1919 collection The Old Road to Paradise. She died in 1978. 

Date Published: 1915-01-01

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