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American Annals of the Deaf

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Sweet Bells Jangled

Laura Redden Searing
A Deaf Poet Restored

Judy Yaeger Jones and
Jane E. Vallier, Editors

From the poem
SWEET BELLS JANGLED

I.

A GIRL’S SUBTERFUGES

WILT thou be an ancient maiden?”
Say the matrons unto me;
“Wilt thou have no chubby children,
Clinging fondly to thy knee?”
“Ruddy matrons! happy mothers!
What are children unto me?”

“Will thou live alone forever?”
Say the matrons unto me.
Light I answer: “Who is single
Should be ever blithe and free.
Sober matrons! thoughtful mothers!
Liberty is sweet to me!”

“Youth is scornful in the sunshine,”
Say the matrons unto me.
“Drop thy kerchief, boastful beauty!
While thine eye is bright of blee,
Age is lurking in the shadow,
Age is creeping up to thee!”

And I answer, lightly laughing,
What the matrons say to me:
“I am given to Diana,―
To the huntress, fair and free,―
And the lumpy, lovesick Venus
Hath no follower in me!”


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