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Women’s Rights

Category Articles
Date August 30, 2005

“The rights of women, what are they?
The right to labour, love and pray,
The right to weep, with those that weep,
The right to wake when others sleep.

The right to dry the falling tear,
The right to quell the rising fear,
The right to smooth the brow of care
And whisper comfort in despair.

The right to watch the parting breath,
To smoothe and cheer the bed of death,
The right when earthly hopes all fail
To point to that within the veil.

The right the wanderer to reclaim
And win the lost from paths of shame,
The right to comfort and to bless
The widow and the fatherless.

The right the little ones to guide
In simple faith to Him who died,
With earnest love and gentle praise,
To bless and cheer their youthful days.

The right the intellect to train
And guide the soul to noble aim,
Teach it to rise above earth’s toys
And wing its flight to heavenly joys.

The right to live for those we love,
The right to die that love to prove,
The right to brighten earthly homes
With pleasant smiles and gentle tones.

Are these thy rights? Then use them well,
Thy silent influence none can tell.
If these are thine, why ask for more?
Thou hast enough to answer for.

Are these thy rights? Then murmur not
That women’s mission is thy lot.
Improve the talents God has given.
Life’s duty done – thy rest is Heaven.”

Mary Griffiths, 25th February 1908

The above poem is included by permission of the author of An Unfamiliar Family Robert Searle-Barnes, in the September-October 2005 Gospel Magazine. Writing about his grandmother, who was the wife of the Vicar of Smithfield Martyrs Memorial Church, he says: “One thing is certain. Mary Griffiths had no sympathy for Suffragettes. Her contribution to mother’s autograph album was entitled ‘Women’s Rights’, a nine verse poem. It has no inscription, unlike the other entries in the book and may well have been her own composition.”

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