Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

Download links will be available after you disable the ad blocker and reload the page.

The Village Wife's Lament

Download options:

  • 144.76 KB
  • 302.33 KB
  • 193.46 KB



O what is this you've done to me,Or what have I done,That bare should be our fair roof-tree,And I all alone?'Tis worse than widow I becomeMore than desolate,To face a worse than empty homeWithout child or mate. 'Twas not my strife askt him his lifeWhen it was but begun,Nor mine, I was a new-made wifeAnd now I am none;Nor mine that many a sapless ghostWails in sorrow-fare—But this does cost my pride the most,That bloodshedding to share. Image of streaming eyes, tear-gleaming,Of women foiled and defeat,I am like Christ shockt out of dreaming,Showing His hands and feet;Showing His feet and hands to God,Saying, "Are these in vain?For men I have trod the sorrowful road,And by them I am slain." Seeing I have a breast in common,I must share in that shame,Since from the womb of some poor womanEach evil one came—Every hot and blundering thought,Every hag-rid will,And every haut king pride-distraughtThat drove men out to kill. A woman's womb did fashion him,Her bosom was his nurse,And many women's eyes are dimTo see their sons a curse.Had I the wit some women haveTo one such I would say,"Think you this love the good Lord gaveIs yours to take away?" O Hand divine that for a signDidst bend the rose-red bow,Betokening wrath was no more ThineWith man's Cain-branded brow—What now, O Lord, shouldst Thou accordTo such a shameful brood?A bow as crimson as the swordWhich men have soakt in blood.


I cannot see the grassOr feel the wind blowing,But I think of brother and brotherAnd hot blood flowing. The whole world akin,And I, an alien,Walk branded with the sinAnd the blood-guilt of men. And often I cryIn my sharp distress,It were better to dieThan know such bitterness.


The Lord of Life He did ordainHow this world should run,That Love should call thro' joy and painTwo natures to be one;Now jags across the high God's planDivision like a scar,For this is true, that He made man,But man made war. Had men the dower of teeth and clawsAnd not a grace beside them?Were they given wit to know the lawsAnd hard hearts to outride them?What drove them turn the sweet green earthInto a puddle of blood?What drove them drown our simple mirthIn salt tear-flood? Has man been lifted up erect,A lord of life and death,His world's elect, and his brow decktWith murder for a wreath?What shall be done with such an one,And whither he be hurl'd?The Lord let crucify His Son—Who gibbetted His world?


Be it Pole Star or Southern CrossThat shelters me or you,The same things are gain and loss,And the same things true:The home-love, the mother-love,The old, old things;The lad's love of maiden's loveThat gives a man wings, And makes a maid stand still, afraidLest it were all a dreamThat he do think himself apaidIf she be all to him.The arching earth has no more worthThan this, to love, to wed,To serve the hearth, to bring to birth,To win your children's bread....