BLACK CAT POEMS
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A Woman's Answer to a Man's Question
Mary T. Lathrap
Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing
Ever made by the Hand above--
A woman's heart, and a woman's life,
And a woman's wonderful love?
Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing
As a child might ask for a toy?
Demanding what others have died to win,
With the reckless dash of a boy.
You have written my lesson of duty out,
Man-like you have questioned me;
Now stand at the bar of my woman's soul,
Until I shall question thee.
You require your mutton shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirts shall be whole;
I require your heart shall be true as God's stars;
And pure as heaven your soul.
You require a cook for your mutton and beef;
I require far grander a thing;
A seamstress you're wanting for stockings and shirts--
I look for a man and a king.
A king for a beautiful realm called home,
And a man that the maker, God,
Shall look upon as he did the first,
And say, "It is very good."
I am fair and young, but the rose will fade
From my soft, young cheek one day;
Will you love me then, 'mid the falling leaves,
As you did 'mid the bloom of May?
Is your heart an ocean so strong and deep
I may launch my all on its tide?
A loving woman finds heaven or hell
On the day she is made a bride.
I require all things that are grand and true,
All things that a man should be;
If you give this all I would stake my life
To be all you demand of me.
If you cannot do this, a laundress and cook
You can hire with little to pay;
But a woman's heart and a woman's life
Are not to be won that way.
poems by Mary T. Lathrap