Sunday, July 1, 2012

Women's Rights

The Women are Persons! Monument in Ottawa, Canada.

You cannot rob us of the rights we cherish,
Nor turn our thoughts away
From the bright picture of a "Woman's Mission"
Our hearts portray.

We claim to dwell, in quiet and seclusion,
Beneath the household roof, —
From the great world's harsh strife, and jarring voices,
To stand aloof; —

Not in a dreamy and inane abstraction
To sleep our life away,
But, gathering up the brightness of home sunshine,
To deck our way.

As humble plants by country hedgerows growing,
That treasure up the rain,
And yield in odours, ere the day's declining,
The gift again;

So let us, unobtrusive and unnoticed,
But happy none the less,
Be privileged to fill the air around us
With happiness;

To live, unknown beyond the cherished circle,
Which we can bless and aid;
To die, and not a heart that does not love us
Know where we're laid.

— Anna Louisa Walker

Anna Louisa Walker (1836-1907) arrived in Canada as a teenager in 1853. Though she only lived in Canada for 10 years she is regarded as one of Canada's early great poets. It was in Canada that she anonymously published her first book of poetry, Leaves from the backwoods in 1861. Anna Louisa walker would publish another volume of poetry, an autobiography and five novels in her lifetime. Her first novel, A Canadian heroine was published in 1873.

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