Battle Hymn of the Women

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Battle Hymn of the Women
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
From Poems of Experience (1917)

They are waking, they are waking,
   In the east, and in the west;
They are throwing wide their windows to the sun;
And they see the dawn is breaking,
   And they quiver with unrest,
For they know their work is waiting to be done.

They are waking in the city,
   They are waking on the farm;
They are waking in the boudoir, and the mill;
And their hearts are full of pity
   As they sound the loud alarm,
For the sleepers, who in darkness, slumber, still.

In the guarded harem prison,
   Where they smother under veils,
And all echoes of the world are walled away;
Though the sun has not yet risen,
   Yet the ancient darkness pales,
And the sleepers, in their slumber, dream of day.

And their dream shall grow in splendour
   Till each sleeper wakes, and stirs;
Till she breaks from old traditions, and is free;
And the world shall rise, and render
   Unto woman what is hers,
As it welcomes in the race that is to be.

Unto woman, God the Maker
   Gave the secret of His plan;
It is written out in cipher, on her soul;
From the darkness, you must take her,
   To the light of day, O man!
Would you know the mighty meaning of the scroll.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1919, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.