Treasure Island

Katharine Tynan

(23 January 1861 - 2 Apirl 1931 / 23 January 1861 – 2 April 1931)

Any Woman


I am the pillars of the house;
The keystone of the arch am I.
Take me away, and roof and wall
Would fall to ruin me utterly.

I am the fire upon the hearth,
I am the light of the good sun,
I am the heat that warms the earth,
Which else were colder than a stone.

At me the children warm their hands;
I am their light of love alive.
Without me cold the hearthstone stands,
Nor could the precious children thrive.

I am the twist that holds together
The children in its sacred ring,
Their knot of love, from whose close tether
No lost child goes a-wandering.

I am the house from floor to roof,
I deck the walls, the board I spread;
I spin the curtains, warp and woof,
And shake the down to be their bed.

I am their wall against all danger,
Their door against the wind and snow,
Thou Whom a woman laid in a manger,
Take me not till the children grow!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Steve Bowers (6/26/2005 1:16:00 PM)

    I heard this poem read today (26/6/05) on Poetry Please on BBC Radio 4 and shed a few tears at the simple unassuming beauty of the sentiments it expresses which so closely mirror those of my own wife for our two beautiful children. She is indeed the pillars of the house without which it would fall into ruins.
    A very beautiful poem in praise of motherhood. (Report) Reply

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