Archive for October 12th, 2019

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Letter to My Sister by Anne Bethel Scales Bannister Spencer

It is dangerous for a woman
to defy the gods;
To taunt them with the tongue’s thin tip,
Or strut in the weakness
of mere humanity,
Or draw a line daring them to cross;
The gods own the searing lightning,
The drowning waters, tormenting fears
And anger of red sins.

Oh, but worse still if you mince timidly–
Dodge this way or that, or kneel or pray,
Be kind, or sweat agony drops
Or lay your quick body over
your feeble young;
If you have beauty or none, if celibate
Or vowed–the gods are Juggernaut,
Passing over       over

This you may do:
Lock your heart, then, quietly,
And lest they peer within,
Light no lamp when dark comes down
Raise no shade for sun;
Breathless must your
breath come through
If you’d die and dare deny
The gods their god-like fun.


Date: 1927

By: Anne Bethel Scales Bannister Spencer (1882-1975)