The Rights Of Woman,
Or Fashions for the Year 93 – being the Era of Women’s literally wearing the Breeches. – Health and Fraternity !
Whilst man is so busy asserting his Rights
Shall Woman lie still without gaining new lights
Our sex have been surely restrain’d enough
By stiff prudish Dress and such old fahion’d stuff
Too long have been fetter’d and tramelld I wot
With Cumbersome Trains and the Strict petticoat
Yet should a poor Wife dare her Tyrant to chide
Oh she wears the Breeches they tauntingly cried
But now we’re enlighten’d they’ll find to their Shame
We’ll have the reality not the bare Name
No longer will Woman to Satire be Dupe
For she is determin’d to figure Sans Jupe
And once she is rouzed she will not be outdone
Nor stop at this one Reformation alone
For mark me proud Man she’ll not yield thee a Jot
But soon will become e’en a true Sans-Culote
And flourish away e’er the Ending of Spring
Sans Jupe, Sans Culote , in short – sans any thing
— Ca va et ca…ira
–Liberty and Equality for ever !
© by Dorothea Herbert
from, Introspections, the Poetry and Private World of Dorothea Herbert by Frances Finnegan , Congrave Press 2011.
This poem is tagged found books, as I hit upon it whilst looking for something else. The cover image of the book caught my eye. I contacted Frances Finnegan in the last week and requested permission to use two poems from her recently published book about Dorothea Herbert, and she generously recommended that I use two of the shorter poems, or indeed excerpts from one of the longer poems. I thought to publish another of the poems (or excerpts) with a review of the book , at a later date.
Information about Introspections, the Poetry and Private World of Dorothea Herbert by Frances Finnegan is available at Congrave Press . It seems remarkably careless that poets of Herbert’s talents are so easily consigned to dusty archives, though it appears to be a peril that disproportionately affects the woman writer and poet in Ireland.