To Woman.

From the Above. 1

Power is your own—and still it is your own1
Through the sweet presence of a peaceful charm,2
If silence fail and stillness be o’erthrown,3
Nor strife nor noise can destiny disarm.4
From man shall conquering power expected be,5
The sovereignty of will and of command,6
All the attributes of proud authority,7
Since thus the steadfast laws of Nature stand.8
But by the graces, and their charmēd gifts,9
Still hath the Woman reign’d, and still shall reign ;10
Her fair and gracious forehead she uplifts,11
And with one smile doth her dominion gain.12
Many and many are the mighty great,13
Who, by their souls’ strength and the strength of deeds,14
Have swayed, have monarchized o’er earth and fate,15
And gained the conqueror’s fame and glory’s meeds.16
But these, too, these have nobly shone without17
The vain factitious glitter of the Crown,18
Circled by splendours far more bright about19
The splendours of their own sublime renown !20
Thus woman needeth not the Crown’s poor pride,21
She reigns—she reigns where’er her smile is seen ;22
Where’er she moves she rules o’er empires wide,23
It is her Beauty that is crowned the Queen !24
So where she is beheld is she obeyed,25
And but obeyed because in love beheld ;26
So hath the angel in her aspect swayed 27
Throughout all time, and power and pride hath quelled.28
Yes !—where she is beheld is she obeyed !—29
Who looks must love, and all must serve who see,30
All serve her thus—attracted, not afraid !31
Still the most fettered, though they be the free !32

Editorial notes

  1. A poem in German by Prince Rodolph Liechtenstein precedes this one.