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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Poetry

Duty's Call by Alline Atherton

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -


No doubt some people think that I
Ne’er had a chance to change my state,
But they are much mistaken all,
For it has been my choice to wait.
Yet duty still my steps shall guide.
And if some lonely man should choose
To take my hand, I am not sure
That duty’s voice would say refuse!

The men are horrid creatures, all!
Their hearts are full of tyranny:
And their poor wives must still toll on,
Though heavy oft the heart may be;
And yet, of late, I often feel,
That duty’s call is loud to me,
To take the cross of married life
And bear it with humility.

There’s Deacon S___, that pleasant man,
(some say his wife is treated ill)
My sister says I’m just the one
To go and keep his children still;
I know they’re rude and stubborn, yet
Who knows the good that I might do?
So if he seeks my aid, I hope
To keep the path of right in view.

There’s Polly Briggs (the envious thing!)
She says I’m “forty, if a day;”
She knows I’m not, but in her rage,
There’s nought to bad for her to say.
She wants the Deacon! I can see!
She knows I am but thirty-eight;
And for the falsehood may she e’er
Abide, as now, without a mate.

Not that I think its any gain
To marry, but she does, I know,
So all can see ‘twould punish her
To see me to the Deacon’s go
The more I think the subject o’er,
The more I think ‘twould not be right
To answer nay! So I’ll say yes!
I really hope he’ll come to-night.

Alline Atherton.

Duty's Call by Alline Atherton