Here are the orchard trees all large with fruit;I
O mighty Maker of the Universe,
Am I not part and parcel of Thy World?
And one with Nature? Wherefore, then, in me
Must this great reproductive impulse lie
Hidden, ashamed, unnourished, and denied,
Until it starves to slow and tortuous death?
I knew the hope of springtime; like the tree
Now ripe with fruit, I budded, and then bloomed;
We laughed together through the young May morns;
We dreamed together through the summer moons;
Till all Thy purposes within the tree
Were to fruition brought. Lord, Thou hast heard
The Woman in me crying for the Man;
The Mother in me crying for the Child;
And made no answer. Am I less to Thee
Than lower forms of Nature, or in truth
Dost Thou hold somewhere in another Realm
Full compensation and large recompense
For lonely virtue forced by fate to live
A life unnatural, in a natural world?
Thou who hast made for such sure purposesII
Yet do I understand; for Thou hast madeIII
Albeit I am a sister to the earth,
This nature self is not the whole of me;
The deathless soul of me
Has nobler birth.
The primal woman hungers for the man;
My better self demands the mate of me;
The spirit fate of me,
Part of Thy plan.
Nature is instinct with the mother-need;
So is my heart; but ah, the child of me
Should, undefiled of me,
Spring from love's seed.
And if, in barren chastity, I must
Know but in dreams that perfect choice of me,
Still will the voice of me
Proclaim God just.
World Voices by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
New York : Hearst's International Library Company 1916.
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