Sweethearts and Wives by Douglas B. W. Sladen

| No TrackBacks
Who will not drink the toast of wives and sweet hearts?
   Who will not pledge "Our sweethearts and our wives?"
What greater boon is deigned us than to greet hearts
   Destined to sway the current of our lives
With influence, like a good star, benignant,
   With magnet-power drawing men to home;
And counter-spells to break the spell malignant,
   The curse of Cain, that tempts us all to roam?

Your healths, great-hearted, staunch, devoted women,
   Ready, for sake of home, to live the life
Of serfs, in duty fearless as are few men,
   Who if Death stood amidst the path of wife
Would swerve not to the left side or the right side,
   But walk straight on into his cold embrace;
Who carry your life-exile from life's bright side
   Branded indelibly upon your face.

Your healths, stout-hearted, cheery, little women,
   With little homes, small means, and little spheres,
Who manage with your small lights to illumine
   Lives not too full of this world's gifts and cheers;
Who smiling share the struggle for subsistence,
   And laughing lighten many a hard day;
And all without one glimmer in the distance
   To give you hope that clouds will clear away.

Your healths, brave sufferers in the early trials
   Of genius in uncongenial straits,
Who feel that, when ill-fate has drained her vials,
   Veiled in the future somewhere glory waits:
Wives of Carlyles and sisters loved of Wordsworths,
   Who fight the good fight spite of toils and strains,
Confident that your hero has whole herds worths
   Of ordinary mortals' aims and brains.

Your healths, refined, appreciative, women,
   Graceful and bright, easy in circumstance,   
Who make it yours to cheer all good and true men
   Upon their high emprize with kindly glance;
Women with yearnings noble and poetic,
   Women with worship for heroic deeds,
Longing to make oblation sympathetic
   Or all your witchery for great men's meeds.

Your health, O much revered and Royal Woman
   Sitting aloft on empire's dazzling heights,
Crowned with a halo almost superhuman,
   And thrown into relief with such strong lights;
And yours, Princess, whose days have ever found you
   Offering some fresh word or act of grace
To the poor folk who love to throng around you
   To gaze upon the fairness of your face,

Who will not drink the toast of wives and sweet hearts?
   Who will not pledge "Our sweethearts and our wives?"
Bright hearts and brave hearts, gentle hearts and great hearts,
   Deigned to be stars or flowers of our lives;
Beautiful, graceful, love-inspiring lovers,
   Dutiful, dauntless, uncomplaining mates?
Each woman that I meet to me discovers
   Some new gift to alleviate our fates.

First published in The Queenslander, 21 July 1883

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://www.middlemiss.org/cgi-bin/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/1032

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 21, 2011 7:21 AM.

Steeds of the Mist by Will H. Ogilvie was the previous entry in this blog.

Spring Dirge by Victor J. Daley is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en