["The woman's cause is man's"] from The Princess
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)



3077   'Blame not thyself too much,' I said, 'nor blame 
3078   Too much the sons of men and barbarous laws; 
3079   These were the rough ways of the world till now. 
3080   Henceforth thou hast a helper, me, that know 
3081   The woman's cause is man's: they rise or sink 
3082   Together, dwarf'd or godlike, bond or free: 
3083   For she that out of Lethe scales with man 
3084   The shining steps of Nature, shares with man 
3085   His nights, his days, moves with him to one goal, 
3086   Stays all the fair young planet in her hands--- 
3087   If she be small, slight-natured, miserable, 
3088   How shall men grow? but work no more alone! 
3089   Our place is much: as far as in us lies 
3090   We two will serve them both in aiding her--- 
3091   Will clear away the parasitic forms 
3092   That seem to keep her up but drag her down--- 
3093   Will leave her space to burgeon out of all 
3094   Within her---let her make herself her own 
3095   To give or keep, to live and learn and be 
3096   All that not harms distinctive womanhood. 
3097   For woman is not undevelopt man, 
3098   But diverse: could we make her as the man, 
3099   Sweet Love were slain: his dearest bond is this, 
3100   Not like to like, but like in difference. 
3101   Yet in the long years liker must they grow; 
3102   The man be more of woman, she of man; 
3103   He gain in sweetness and in moral height, 
3104   Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world; 
3105   She mental breadth, nor fail in childward care, 
3106   Nor lose the childlike in the larger mind; 
3107   Till at the last she set herself to man, 
3108   Like perfect music unto noble words; 
3109   And so these twain, upon the skirts of Time, 
3110   Sit side by side, full-summ'd in all their powers, 
3111   Dispensing harvest, sowing the To-be, 
3112   Self-reverent each and reverencing each, 
3113   Distinct in individualities, 
3114   But like each other ev'n as those who love. 
3115   Then comes the statelier Eden back to men: 
3116   Then reign the world's great bridals, chaste and calm: 
3117   Then springs the crowning race of humankind. 
3118   May these things be!' 
3118                                             Sighing she spoke 'I fear 
3119   They will not.' 
3119                                             'Dear, but let us type them now 
3120   In our own lives, and this proud watchword rest 
3121   Of equal; seeing either sex alone 
3122   Is half itself, and in true marriage lies 
3123   Nor equal, nor unequal: each fulfils 
3124   Defect in each, and always thought in thought, 
3125   Purpose in purpose, will in will, they grow, 
3126   The single pure and perfect animal, 
3127   The two-cell'd heart beating, with one full stroke, 
3128   Life.' 
3128                                             And again sighing she spoke: 'A dream 
3129   That once was mine! what woman taught you this?'