Susan H. Wixon, “When Womanhood Awakes” (1890)


(Read at the Woman’s National Liberal Convention, Washington, D.C., February, 24, 1890.)

No more shall error ’round her play
In fitful moods and clouds of grey;
Or cruel fancies crush her down
Where demons wait and furies frown,
—When Womanhood awakes.

No more shall bigots turn and rave,
A ranting yet a cringing slave,
At truth who, in her garments white,
Stands facing ever to the right,
—When Womanhood awakes.

No more shall sisters turn aside,
With haughty tread and sullen pride,
From those who walk in clearer light,
Whose keener vision sees the right,
—When Womanhood awakes.

No more in abject fear she’ll cower,
Before a mitred, tyrant power;
Nor grope in darkness, pain and shame—
A hopeless wretch without a name,
—When Womanhood awakes.

No more she’ll idly dream away
Life’s splendid hours in trifling play,
Nor think the whole of life to be
To lose her own identy,
—When Womanhood awakes.

No more the story will be told
By writers young and writers old,
That man but toils till set of sun,
While woman’s work is never done,
—When Womanhood awakes.

The chains that bind her foot and hand—
That hold her close in every land—
Will drop and crumble in the dust,
By force of their own ancient rust,
—When Womanhood awakes.

Her eyes are closed in slumber now,
The poppy-wreath is on her brow;
But soon her night shall change to day
And, ‘mid the tombs, no more she’ll stray,
—When Womanhood awakes.

In horror will she view the past,
That, vice-like, held her hard and fast,
The coming time her mind shall dower
With vigorous strength and helpful power,
—When Womanhood awakes.

The future day shall see her then
Clothed rightly as a citizen,
And she’ll behold with judgment clear,
The sovereign rights that wait her here,
—When Womanhood awakes.

And man shall stand on grander height ;
Shall see the truth in larger light;
Shall rise from grovelling in the dust,
To realms where dwell the true and just,
—When Womanhood awakes.

And all these things shall surely be,
When Justice reigns from sea to sea;
Fair Freedom then, in fullest measure,
Shall give to each her equal treasure,
—When Womanhood awakes.

How gloomy all the Past will seem
A misty way—a dreadful dream —
With Superstition’s slimy trail
O’er mossy bank and flowery dale,
—When Womanhood awakes.

O, rosy dawn in Eastern skies!
Thy morning light the world supplies
Joy bells shall ring from shore to shore;
Anthems shall swell for evermore,
—When Womanhood awakes.

Susan H. Wixon.

About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.