On this Mother’s Day


The following was written in 1870, yet here we are in 2010,
still raising our voices against violence and war.
Here we are in 2010, with a president who publicly jokes about the use of predator drones.
Here we are in 2010, knowing in our hearts there is a better way.

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered 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 a 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 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.

10 thoughts on “On this Mother’s Day

  1. Isn’t it noteworthy, though, that these same impassioned, compelling words are at least as applicable today as they were 140 years ago? Thank you for posting this.

    And Happy Mothers Day.

    (I’ve long believed NATO or some similar organization should be composed of only women, preferably mothers.)


    • Yes, women have a much different energy than men (generally speaking), and I wish we played the dominant role in international issues.

      This poem is dear to my heart, too, as I watch my teen sons mature.


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