Suffrage Songs and Verses

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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The Housewife

Here is the House to hold me—cradle of all the race;
Here is my lord and my love, here are my children dear—
Here is the House enclosing, the dear-loved dwelling place;
Why should I ever weary for aught that I find not here?
Here for the hours of the day and the hours of the night;
Bound with the bands of Duty, rivetted tight;
Duty older than Adam—Duty that saw
Acceptance utter and hopeless in the eyes of the serving squaw.
Food and the serving of food—that is my daylong care;
What and when we shall eat, what and how we shall wear;
Soiling and cleaning of things—that is my task in the main—
Soil them and clean them and soil them—soil them and clean them again.
To work at my trade by the dozen and never a trade to know;
To plan like a Chinese puzzle—fitting and changing so;
To think of a thousand details, each in a thousand ways;
For my own immediate people and a possible love and praise.
My mind is trodden in circles, tiresome, narrow and hard,
Useful, commonplace, private—simply a small backyard;
And I the Mother of Nations!—Blind their struggle and vain!—
I cover the earth with my children—each with a housewife’s brain.
Anton Chekhov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Susan Glaspell
Mark Twain
Edgar Allan Poe
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Herman Melville
Stephen Leacock
Kate Chopin
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson