Appeal to women

“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears!

“Say firmly: Our brothers shall not beat their plowshares into swords, their harvest blades in bayonets.

“Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.

“Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

“We women of one country will be too tender those of another country to allow our kin to be trained to injure theirs.

“From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own; it says, ‘Disarm, disarm!’

“Blood does not wipe out dishonor,” nor violence secure redemption. The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.

Now death’s dominion has met its match in love’s resurrecting grace.

So rejoice, every wounded heart; rise up, every barren field.

The world with all its harried hands soon yields to Mercy’s appeal.

©Ken Sehested @ Using excerpts from Julia Ward Howe’s “Appeal to Womanhood Throughout the World,” September 1870, where she called for a “Mother’s Peace Day: A time for women and children to speak for the things that make for peace.”