The Song of the Shadowy Female
My Garments shall be woven of sighs and heart-broken lamentations:
The misery of unhappy Families
shall be drawn out into its border,
Wrought with the needle, with dire sufferings, poverty, pain, and woe,
the rocky Island and thence throughout the whole Earth.
There shall be the sick Father and his starving
The Prisoner in the stone Dungeon, and the Slave at the Mill.
I will have writings written all
over it in Human words,
That every Infant that is born upon the Earth shall read
And get by rote, as a
hard task of a life of sixty years.
I will have Kings inwoven upon it, and Counsellors and Mighty Men:
Famine shall clasp it together with buckles and clasps,
And the Pestilence shall be its fringe, and the
War its girdle;
To divide into Rahab and Tirzah, that Milton may come to our tents.
For I will put on the
Human Form, and take the Image of God,
Even Pity and Humanity; but my clothing shall be Cruelty.
I will put on Holiness as a breastplate and as a helmet.
And all my ornaments shall be of the gold of
And the precious stones of anxiety and care, and desperation and death,
for sin, and sorrow, and punishment and fear;
To defend me from thy terrors, O Orc! my only belovèd!
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