Woman, Her Charm and Power
By Robert P. Downes
Woman, thank God, is always with us. She brings us into being. We are cradled in her arms. She loves and guards us with fond devotion when as yet we have awakened no other interest. We maybe plain, but she sees beauty in us. We may be ill-tempered, but she bears with us. She will sacrifice ease, sleep, strength, yea life itself to serve us. She is Love's form. God first looks on us through her tender eyes. She interprets for us the love, the pity, and the grace of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is her constant and unwearied ministry which gives its music to the sweet word home. When She departs, that word loses its meaning, and we begin to think of heaven as home because she is there.
She bears with our sins and carries our sorrows. She is wounded for our transgressions. She is our guardian angel, not unseen, but moving and breathing by our side Our earliest tasks are encountered at her bidding. Our first ambitions are kindled by her smile. We aspire after nobleness because she expects it from us. We stand off from baseness that we may not bow her head in shame. If she approves us the whole world may hiss, and we shall not heed it If she condemns us the applause of nations cannot redeem us from self-contempt. Her blessing is as the sun when he calls forth the morning. Her censure is as the stroke of an angel's sword. If through loss of honour we have lost her love and trust, fate has emptied its quiver on us. It has no other arrow left. If we have blessed and sheltered her, all things combine to comfort us. If we have wronged and defiled her, our hell has begun already. A mother, a sister, a wife, a daughter, what magic dwells in those tender names. Blot them out and the world would be for us only a heart-breaking wilderness, and life a bitter weed which we would gladly cast away.