She must be strong, this woman that I build
From day to day: she must be poised and strong
And wise, and kind, far-seeking, and firm-willed,
All quiet patience must to her belong,
All subtle understanding of the hearts
Of those she meets, those broken down with woe
Or Gay or unconcerned; these are the arts
Whatever else she lacks, that must she know.
This woman that I build from day to day—
Each deed each hidden thought will some day show
To those who search within her eyes, and they
All that I did or wished today will know.
O may I wisely choose, thrust firmly out
Wrong thoughts. May only pure desires be mine!
And may I banish greed and fear and doubt,
All that would make the woman less than fine.
All that would make that woman less that true,
And strong, and pure, and fit to take her place,
Courageous, trained, prepared her part to do
In the high battles of the striving race.
Whether the woman shall be strong and free
And good, none but the girl I am can say.
O wrought with care and praying may she be,
The woman that I build now, day by day.
As a young teenager, my Grandmother gave me a poem by Mary Carolyn Davies entitled 'The Woman That I Build.' It begins, 'She must be strong, this woman that I build from day to day.' I have forgotten much of it, but would love to find it to pass on to my daughter and grandchild. Does anyone have this poem?