Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
VI. Human Experience
“Stone the woman, let the man go free”
Anonymous
 
YES, stone the woman, let the man go free!
Draw back your skirts, lest they perchance may touch
Her garment as she passes; but to him
Put forth a willing hand to clasp with his
That led her to destruction and disgrace.        5
Shut up from her the sacred ways of toil,
That she no more may win an honest meal;
But ope to him all honorable paths
Where he may win distinction; give to him
Fair, pressed-down measures of life’s sweetest joys.        10
Pass her, O maiden, with a pure, proud face,
If she puts out a poor, polluted palm;
But lay thy hand in his on bridal day,
And swear to cling to him with wifely love
And tender reverence. Trust him who led        15
A sister woman to a fearful fate.
 
Yes, stone the woman, let the man go free!
Let one soul suffer for the guilt of two—
It is the doctrine of a hurried world,
Too out of breath for holding balances        20
Where nice distinctions and injustices
Are calmly weighed. But ah, how will it be
On that strange day of fire and flame,
When men shall wither with a mystic fear,
And all shall stand before the one true Judge?        25
Shall sex make then a difference in sin?
Shall He, the Searcher of the hidden heart,
In His eternal and divine decree
Condemn the woman and forgive the man?
 
 
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