The first needle
I found this poem by Lucretia P Hale (1820-1900)
in a publication dated 1871.It was probably written
earlier than that date and I have copied it
the same as I read it with exact punctuation and lines.
The last 2 lines are very true!
"Have you heard the new invention, my dears,
That a man has invented?" said she.
"It's a stick with an eye
Through which you can tie
A thread so long, it acts like a thong,
And the men have such fun,
to see the thing run!
A firm strong thread, through that eye at the head,
Is pulled over the edges most craftily,
And makes a beautiful seam to see!"
"What, instead of those wearisome thorns, my dear,
Those wearisome thorns?" cried they,
"The seam we pin
Driving them in,
But where are they at the end of the day,
With dancing, and jumping, and leaps by the sea?
For wintry weather
They wont hold together,
Seal-skins and bear-skins all dropping around
Off from our shoulders down to the ground.
The thorns, the tiresome thorns, will prick,
But none of them ever consented to stick!
Oh, wont the men let us this new thing use?
If we mend their clothes they can't refuse.
Ah, to sew up a seam for them to see__
What a treat, a delightful treat, 'twill be!
"Yes, a nice thing, too, for the babies, my dears,__
But, alas, there is but one!" cried she.
"I saw them passing it round, and then
They said it was fit for only men!
What woman would know
How to make the thing go?
There was not a man so foolish to dream
That any woman could sew up a seam!"
Oh, then there was babbling and scrabbling, my dears!
"At least they might let us do that!" cried they.
Let them shout and fight
And kill bears all night;
We'll leave them their spears and hatchets of stone
If they'll give us a thing of our very own.
It will be a joy above all else we could scheme.
To sit up all night and sew such a seam."
"Beware! take care!" cried an aged old crone,
"Take care what you promise," said she.
"At first 'twill be fun,
But, in the long run,
You'll wish you had let the thing be.
Through this stick with the eye
I look and espy
That for ages and ages you'll sit and you'll sew,
And longer and longer the seams will grow,
And you'll wish you had never had asked to sew.
But naught that I say
Can keep back the day,
For the men will return to their hunting and rowing,
And leave the women forever the sewing."
Ah, what are the words of an aged crone?
For all her muttering alone;
And the needle and thread that they got with such pains
They forever must keep as daggers and chains.
Along with typewriters - now known as keyboarding!
interesting. Thanks for sharing. The same could be said for cooking. When it is a paid job, it is a man's territory. When it is the everyday task at home, mostly the women are the household cooks. sigh!