Woman Power Poem by A. P. Herbert

Woman Power

They took the maid; they took the cook as well:
Mamma said 'Splendid! Give the Germans——!
The two small daughters did the housework now;
And that was good for them, we must allow.
Then Maud and May went off, in uniform,
And left Mamma the orphan of the storm.
They put on weight; they looked extremely fit,
And did their very best to do their bit.
Meanwhile, Mamma took on the work of four;
She fed her husband, and she scrubbed the floor,
She dug for victory, she queued and shopped;
She drove an ambulance until she dropped.
But there's a time, however big the Cause,
When even British matrons have to pause:
Mamma is not the girl she was before,
Gave up the ambulance, and digs no more.
Well, all must share in total sacrifice;
And Maud and May look very fine and nice.
It is immensely comforting to feel
The total force of England at the wheel.
But one small cloud is in the picture too—
Poor Maud and May have nothing much to do.

Must we, to use a rather plainer tongue,
Kill off the old 'uns, and brown off the young?
March 5, 1944

A. P. Herbert

A. P. Herbert

Ashtead, Surrey
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