Song of the Sewing-Machine
Poems (New York: Charles Scribner , 1860): 202-03.
1I'm the Iron Needle-Woman!
2 Wrought of sterner stuff than clay;
3And, unlike the drudges human,
4 Never weary night or day;
5Never shedding tears of sorrow,
6 Never mourning friends untrue,
7Never caring for the morrow,
8 Never begging work to do.
9Poverty brings no disaster!
10 Merrily I glide along,
11For no thankless, sordid master,
12 Ever seeks to do me wrong:
13No extortioners oppress me,
14 No insulting words I dread --
15I've no children to distress me
16 With unceasing cries for bread.
17I'm of hardy form and feature,
18 For endurance framed aright;
19I'm not pale misfortune's creature,
20 Doomed life's battle here to fight:
21Mine's a song of cheerful measure,
22 And no under-currents flow
23To destroy the throb of pleasure
24 Which the poor so seldom know.
25In the hall I hold my station,
26 With the wealthy ones of earth,
27Who commend me to the nation
28 For economy and worth,
29While unpaid the female labor,
30 In the attic-chamber lone,
31Where the smile of friend or neighbor
32 Never for a moment shone.
33My creation is a blessing
34 To the indigent secured,
35Banishing the cares distressing
36 Which so many have endured:
37Mine are sinews superhuman,
38 Ribs of oak and nerves of steel --
39I'm the Iron Needle-Woman
40 Born to toil and not to feel.
RPO poem Editors: