Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE POWER OF WOMEN, by MATILDA BARBARA BETHAM-EDWARDS

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THE POWER OF WOMEN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: We wish not the mechanic arts to scan
Last Line: We have the substance, they may keep the name!
Alternate Author Name(s): Betham, Mary Matilda; Edwards, Matilda B.; Edwards, B. M.
Subject(s): Women's Rights; Feminism

WE wish not the mechanic arts to scan,
But leave the slavish work to selfish man!
He claims alone the privilege to war,
But 'tis our smiles that must reward the scar!
We need not these heroic dangers brave,
Who hold the laurelled conqueror a slave.
We need not search the world for sordid gain,
While we its proud possessors can enchain,
When their pursuit is only meant to prove,
How much they'd venture to deserve our love;
For wealth and honours they can only prize,
As making them more worthy in our eyes.
Their insufficiency they would supply,
And to these glittering resources fly!
Let the poor boasters then indulge their pride,
And think they o'er the universe preside;
Let them recount their numerous triumphs o'er,
And tell the tales, so often told before;
Their own much-doubted merit to enhance;
And gain the great reward -- a favouring glance!
Let them, in bondage, fancy themselves free;
And while fast fettered, vaunt their liberty!
Because they do not massy chains behold,
Suppose that they are monarchs uncontrolled!
How vain! to hope 'twould be to them revealed
The flame burns strongest that is most concealed!
Then with what potent, what resistless art,
Those hidden bonds are twined about the heart,
So that the captive wanders unconfined,
And has no sovereign but o'er his mind!
The prize is mutual, either power or fame;
We have the substance, they may keep the name!

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