Poetry of Kansas

Only A Woman.

Only a woman, shriveled and old,
The prey of the winds, and the prey of the cold!
Cheeks that are shrunken,
Eyes that are sunken,
Lips that were never o'erbold;
Only a woman: forsaken and poor,
Asking an alms at the bronze church-door.
Hark to the organ! roll upon roll
The waves of its music go over the soul!
Silks rustle past her
Thicker and faster:
The great bell ceases its toll.
Fain would she enter, but not for the poor
Swingeth wide open the bronze church door.
Only a woman waiting alone,
Icily cold on an ice-cold throne.
What do they care for her,
Mumbling a prayer for her,
Giving not bread but a stone.
Under gold laces their haughty hearts beat,
Mocking the woes of their kin in the street,.
Only a woman! In the older days
Hope carroled to her in happiest lays;
Somebody missed her,
Somebody kissed her,
Somebody crowned her with praise;
Somebody faced up the battles of life.
Strong for her sake who was mother or wife.
Somebody lies with a tress of her hair
Light on his heart where the death-shadows are;
Somebody waits for her,
Opening the gates for her,
Giving delight for despair.
Only a woman___nevermore poor___
Dead in the snow at the bronze church-door.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 244-245

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November 26, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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