Complacent Women 1918- Max Ehrmann

Complacent women, sitting idly by,
Bestirring not a hand for freedom’s sake,
Hear you no voices calling you to rise?
Hear you no bitter cries of women slaves,
Scar-marked and cuffed through all the ages past,
The sea dirge of a sea of women’s tears?

Complacent women, sitting idly by,
Bereft of dreams, dead-faced, with leaden souls,
What sting will rouse you up to stand erect,
Convert your placid thoughts to fierce demands,
And warm your hearts with flames of human fire?

Is there within your soul no pride of life,
No whispered music, and no star of hope,
That you have no desire for human rights?
Slaves of ten thousand years, or playthings cheap,
I taunt you, sting you with the tongue of shame,
To rouse you up to claim your heritage.

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