The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Margaret Chandler/Slave Produce
Eat! they are cates for a lady's lip,
Rich as the sweets that the wild bees sip;
Mingled viands that nature hath pour'd,
From the plenteous stores of her flowing board,
Bearing no trace of man's cruelty—save
The red life-drops of his human slave.
List thee, lady! and turn aside,
With a loathing heart, from the feast of pride;
For, mix'd with the pleasant sweets it bears,
Is the hidden curse of scalding tears,
Wrung out from woman's bloodshot eye,
By the depth of her deadly agony.
Look! they are robes from a foreign loom,
Delicate, light, as the rose leaf's bloom;
Stainless and pure in their snowy tint,
As the drift unmarked by a footstep's print.
Surely such garment should fitting be,
For woman's softness and purity.
Yet fling them off from thy shrinking limb,
For sighs have render'd their brightness dim;
And many a mother's shriek and groan,
And many a daughter's burning moan,
And many a sob of wild despair,
From woman's heart, is lingering there.