Shall we who are about to live,
Cry like a clarion on the battle-field?
Or weep before 't is fought, the fight to yield?
Thou that hast been and yet that art to be
Named by our name, that art the First and Last!
Womanhood of the future and the past!
Thee we salute, below the breath. Oh, give
To us the courage of our mystery.
… Pealing, the clock of Time
Has struck the Woman's Hour.…
We hear it on our knees. For ah, no power
Is ours to trip too lightly to the rhyme
Of idle words that fan the summer air,
Of bounding words that leap the years to come.
Ideal of ourselves! We dream and dare.
Victuræ salutamus!
Thou
art dumb.

More verses by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

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