Shuck and Jive

Sunday, May 13, 2012

For Mother's Day--A Summons

Arise, then, women of this day!

Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by
           irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
           for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn 
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy 
           and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those
           of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the
             summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and
             earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.


  1. I love this and first heard it several years ago read during a Mother's Day sermon by our pastor.

    It reminds me of a line from the play, "The History Boys" when the one female character, a history teacher, has finially had enough of the glib replies of her male students:

    "MRS. LINTOTT: I'll tell you why there are no women historians on TV, it's because they don't get carried away for a start, and they don't come bouncing up to you with every new historical notion they've come up with ... the bow-wow school of history.

    History's not such a frolic for women as it is for men. Why should it be? They never get round the conference table. In 1919, for instance, they just arranged the flowers then gracefully retired.

    History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. What is history? History is women following behind with the bucket."