Little Girls

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   Whether you frolic with comrade boys,
   Or sit at your studies, or play with toys,
   Whatever your station, or place, or sphere,
   For just one purpose God sent you here;
   And always and ever, you are to me—
   Dear little Mothers, of Men to be.

   So would I guard you from all mean things;
   From the dwarfing of wealth, and from poverty’s stings.
   And from silly mothers of fuss and show,
   And from dissolute fathers whose aims are low,
   I would take you, and shield you, and set you free,
   Dear little Mothers, of Men to be.

   And then were the wish of my heart fulfilled,
   Around about you, the world should build
   A wall of Wisdom, with Truth for its Tower,
   Where mind and body would wax in power,
   Till the tender twig was a splendid tree—
   Dear little Mothers, of Men to be.

   It is only a dream; but the world grows wise,
   And a mighty truth in the dream seed lies
   That shall gladden the earth, in its time and place.
   WE MUST BETTER THE MOTHERS TO BETTER THE RACE.
   A dream? nay, a vision, which all must see,
   Dear little Mothers, of Men to be.

from An Englishman and Other Poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1912)

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