Poetry of Kansas

"You First"

In courtly days of old,
    When knights were trim and sightly,
And well knew how to be gallant,
    And always did politely,
A graceful act it was
    Of gentle knights, well versed,
When at a door with ladies fair.
    To halt while they went first.
Long past those knightly days,
    In dark-age gloom immersed,
But to the lady still we bow,
    And let her pass on first.
But now a meaning new
    This ancient act embraces,
Since we have learned that woman has
    Superior gifts and graces.
We say "You first" to her
    At many doors today,
Because we know her fit to lead
    And show to man the way.
At doors that upward lead
    Must men, henceforth, though sages,
To women, with their finer gifts,
    Say "You first" down the ages.

Quillings In Verse
John Edward Everett
(Smith Center: ___. 1912)
Page 4

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August 18, 2004 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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