A FATHER OF WOMEN
Ad Sororem E. B.
"Thy father was transfused into thy blood."
Dryden: Ode to Mrs. Anne Killigrew.
OUR father works in us,
The daughters of his manhood. Not undone
Is he, not wasted, though transmuted thus,
And though he left no son.
Therefore on him I cry
To arm me: "For my delicate mind a casque,
A breastplate for my heart, courage to die,
Of thee, captain, I ask.
"Nor strengthen only; press
A finger on this violent blood and pale,
Over this rash will let thy tenderness
A while pause, and prevail.
"And shepherd-father, thou
Whose staff folded my thoughts before my birth,
Control them now I am of earth, and now
Thou art no more of earth.