Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Woman

There is an element of power
That suits the needs of every hour-
All wants to which our state gives birth-
The life, the mind, the home, the hearth.
'Tis Woman, From the mother's breast
The babe draws life and strength and rest;
She soothes its pains, its wants supplies,
With yearning love in heart and eyes.
A prudent, gentle, loving wife,
The boon most precious to the life
Of him to whom her all is given,
Save love of God, and hope of heaven.
And who shall teach the infant mind
The way of truth and peace to find?
Who teach in wisdom's paths to tread,
But she who gives his daily bread?
A guiding star, to shed and shine
Soft radiance on the household shrine,
And from her sphere-a span of earth-
Pour light and love on home and hearth.
And such should Woman ever prove-
The pole-star of domestic love,
To which the youthful circle tend,
As mother, guardian, teacher, friend.
There is an element of ill-
Of power to soil, deface, and kill
The buds, the flowers, the fruits of life-
The careless mother, worthless wife.
O careless mother, why neglect
The early buds of vice to check
In your untutored boys and girls,
Ere cast on life-its sins and perils?
Your children's blood you would not shed;
Yet, cruel mother, on your head
The blood of souls uncared-for lies-
That blood to heaven for ever cries.
Oh, woe for him who finds on earth
No spot so dreary as the hearth
Where sits the partner of his life,
A shrewish, wasteful, worthless wife!
O Woman, much to thee is given-
Thy mission comes direct from heaven;
The priceless gems of human life-
A careful mother, virtuous wife.
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