Poetry of Kansas

Tar-and-Feather Reform.

Pour the tar on, pour it thick; 
Bring the feathers, make them stick 
On her temples smooth and fair, 
In the meshes of her hair; 
There, now, shameless courtesen, 
Charm your lovers if you can. 
But the lovers__where are they?
Silently they slink away. 
Boys must sow wild oats, you know; 
Scold them well and let them go. 
Boys are boys; to err is human 
Tar and feathers for the woman. 
Woman? She is but a child. 
Well, no matter; drive her wild. 
Young and fair? So much the worse. 
Brand her deeper, let the curse 
On her young head weighing down, 
Crush her, force her on the town. 
She is fallen, that's enough, 
Give her, henceforth, kick and cuff. 
While we work and pray and weep 
For the heathen o'er the deep, 
We are saints of purity__
We are Christians__don't you see?
When we women have our way,
When it comes-that glorious day 
When we sit in honor great, 
Piloting the ship of state, 
All shall then, as well as we, 
Practice this our theory: 
Never right a sinking boat,
When a woman is afloat: 
If her record holds a flaw, 
Do not throw her e'en a straw; 
Kick her roughly, push her down; 
Hold her under, let her drown! 

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 84-85

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November 1, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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