Poetry of Kansas

Woman's Devotion.

A woman's devotion is sublime we know,
       And in various ways her devotion will show,
Though abused and insulted by husband and kin,
       Her devotion will keep her still loyal to him
Who stood by her side, at the altar you know,
       And swore to protect her in weal or in woe.

And when this fair creature, who stood by his side
       But a short time ago, as his own loving bride,
Receives for the trust she has placed in his care,
       Abuse and neglect, more than human can bear,
Her woman's devotion will still keep her true,
        And she'll aid and protect him with all she can do.
She will stand at the wash-tub from morning till night,
       While her "lord-of-creation" sits smoking his pipe;
And then when she finds at the end of the year,
        Her means he's consumed with his pipe and his beer,
Still this bride of his youth, through thick and through
       With her true woman's heart, will be loyal to him
If her "lord-of-creation" feels inclined or disposed,
       In place of caresses to deal her hard blows,
And pain or affliction should fall to his share,
Or the deeds he has done bring regret and despair,
With true woman's zeal, she would shield and protect
       This ungrateful creature with the life he had wreck

Sometimes this thing called a man, that she marries,
       Spends his nights drinking beer in some den where
             he tarries,
While his wife sits at home broken.-hearted and drear,
       Without one ray of sunshine her poor heart to cheer:
But let her beer-bloated husband be sick or in pain,
       With true woman's kindness she will nurse him

How often we see a kind loving wife,
       Who has given her rich treasure of love for life
To a man who abuses this sacred trust,
       And tramples her poor broken heart in the dust;
But then if affliction this brute should assail,
       Her woman's devotion to him never fails.

Go through a saloon or a gambling den,
       You will find them filled up with this kind of men,
Who spend all they can earn at the bar or the game,
       And night after night they keep doing the same;
While at home all alone his poor wife must sit,
       Still she will forgive, if she cannot forget.

__Joseph Wolverton.

Poets and Poetry of Kansas
Edited by Thomas W. Herringshaw
(Chicago: American Publishers' Association. 1894)
Page 152

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September 3, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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