Frances Harper - A Double Standard|
Do you blame me that I loved him?
...If when standing all alone
I cried for bread, a careless world
...Pressed to my lips a stone?
Do you blame me that I loved him,
...That my heart beat glad and free,
When he told me in the sweetest tones
...He loved but only me?
Can you blame me that I did not see,
...Beneath his burning kiss,
The serpent's wiles, nor even less hear
...The deadly adder hiss?
Can you blame me that my heart grew cold,
...That the tempted, tempter turned--
When he was feted and caressed
...And I was coldly spurned? . . .
Would you blame the world if it should press
...On him a civic crown;
And see me struggling in the depth,
...Then harshly press me down?
Crime has no sex and yet today
...I wear the brand of shame;
Whilst he amid the gay and proud
...Still bears an honored name.
Can you blame me if I've learned to think
...Your hate of vice a sham,
When you so coldly crushed me down,
...And then excused the man?
.....from A Double Standard by Frances E.W. Harper