Page:Field Flowers (1896).djvu/20

There was a problem when proofreading this page.

A Little Bit of a Woman

A little bit of a woman came
Athwart my path one day;
So tiny was she that she seemed to be
A pixy strayed from the misty sea,
Or a wandering greenwood fay.

"Oho, you little elf! " I cried,
"And what are you doing here?
So tiny as you will never do
For the brutal rush and hullaballoo
Of this practical world, I fear."
"Voice have I, good sir," said she.
"Tis soft as an angel's sigh:
But to fancy a word of yours were heard
In all the din of this world's absurd!"
Smiling, I made reply.

"Hands have I, good sir," she quoth.
"Marry, and that have you!
But amid the strife and the tumult rife
In all the struggle and battle for life.
What can those wee hands do? "

"Eyes have I, good sir," she said.
"Sooth, you have," quoth I,
"And tears shall flow therefrom, I trow.
And they betimes shall dim with woe.
As the hard, hard years go by! "

That little bit of a woman cast
Her two eyes full on me,
And they smote me sore to my inmost core,
And they hold me slaved forevermore,—
Yet would I not be free.

That little bit of a woman's hands
Reached up into my breast
And rent apart my scoffing heart,—
And they buffet still with such sweet art
As cannot be expressed.

That little bit of a woman's voice
Hath grown most wondrous dear:
Above the blare of all elsewhere
(An inspiration that mocks at care}
It riseth full and clear.

Dear one, I bless the subtle power
That makes me wholly thine;
And I'm proud to say that I bless the day
When a little woman wrought her way
Into this life of mine.