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Women at Munition Making
by Mary Gabrielle Collins
Their hands should minister unto the flame of
Their fingers guide
The rosy teat,
swelling with milk,
To the eager
mouth of the suckling babe
Or smooth with
Softly and soothingly,
The heated brow of the ailing
Or stray among the curls
Of the boy or girl, thrilling to
Their hands, their fingers
Are coarsened in munition
Their thoughts, which should fly
Like bees among the sweetest mind
Gaining nourishment for the
thoughts to be,
Are bruised against the law,
They must take part in defacing
and destroying the natural body
Which, certainly during this
Is the shrine of the spirit.
Throughout the ages we have seen,
Again and again
Men by Thee created
And we have marvelled at the
Of Thy work.
But this goes further,
Taints the fountain head,
Mounts like a poison to the
Creator's very heart.
Must It anew be sacrificed on
'Er looked at me
bunnet (I knows 'e ain't noo!)
'Er turned up 'er nose at the patch on me shoe!
And 'er sez, pointed
like, 'Liza, what do 'e do
With yer 'llowance?'
'Er looked at
the children (they'm clean and they'm neat,
clothes be as plain as the victuals they eat):
And 'er sez,
'Why not dress 'em up fine for a treat
With yer 'llowance?'
I sees 'er
long feather and trimmy-up gown:
I sez, as I
looks 'er quite square up and down,
'Do 'e think
us keeps 'oliday 'ere in the town
With my 'llowance?
'No likely!' I
sez. And I bids 'er 'Good-day!'
And I kneels
on the shabby old canvas to pray
who's out fightin' such brave miles away.
(And I puts
back a foo o' they coins for 'e may
Be needin' a
part -- may my Bill -- who can say? --
Of my 'llowance!)
Mary H. J. Henderson
He was just a boy, as I could
For he sat in the tent
there close by me.
I held the lamp with its
And felt the hot tears blur my sight
As the doctor took the blood-stained bands
From both his brave,
shell-shattered hands --
His boy hands,
wounded more pitifully
Than Thine, O Christ, on Calvary.
I was making
tea in the tent where they,
The wounded, came in their agaony;
And the boy turned when his wounds were
Held up his face like a child at the breast,
Turned and held his tired face up,
could not hold the spoon or cup,
And I fed him....Mary,
Mother of God,
All women tread where thy feet have trod.
And still on the battlefield of pain
Christ is stretched on His Cross again;
And the Son of God in agony hands,
Womanhood striving to ease His
For each son of man is a son divine,
Not just to the mother who calls him 'mine',
As he stretches out his stricken hand,
Wounded to death for the Mother