Ella Wheeler Wilcox (5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)
Work For Woman
Woman, sitting at your ease,
In the midst of luxuries,
Bound by chains of selfishness,
With no aim but 'how to dress,'
Does the thought ne'er come to you
Of the thing that you could do?
Could, and yet do not,
To crush out the liquor trade,
That is making, and has made,
Sin and shame, and woe and tears
In our land, for years and years-
Have you never thought?
You will chat for hours and hours
Over ribbons, silks, and flowers,
But you will not talk or think
Of this growing evil-drink.
You will weep and smile and laugh
Over trashy books of chaff,
But you will not read
Any truthful temperance tale.
'They are all so dry and stale-
Just the same old thing,' you say
As you yawn, and turn away
From the truths you need.
You have time for rout, and ball,
Concert, theatre, and all
Lectures, save on this one theme.
'Oh! these temperance lectures seem
So extremely dull,' you cry,
With a listless air and eye.
O my friend! forsake
That absorbing theme of DRESS,
Drop for once your selfishness,
Think of all there is to do!
See the work that waits for you!
Up! arouse! awake!
There are men for you to save
From the wretched drunkard's grave.
There are feet that strayed away
Into paths of sin one day.
You can bring them, if you will,
To the paths upon the hill.
There's enough to do!
There's much to do and little done,
Women, sisters, every one,
Lend a helping hand, nor shirk
Any part of God's great work.
Come! we've need of you!
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